Dodgers, Cubs set lineups for NLCS Game 3

October 17th, 2017

The Dodgers and Cubs have announced their starting lineups for tonight's Game 3 of the National League Championship Series presented by Camping World, scheduled for 9 p.m. ET/8 CT/6 PT on TBS, with heading to Chicago's bench in favor of .

The Dodgers are opting for a substitute package of , and  -- who is 0-for-8 in his career against Cubs starter  -- which removes , and Charlie Culberson, who was included on the NLCS roster due to 's back strain.

, who had a 2.49 ERA away from home this season and won the clincher vs. the D-backs in Game 3 of the NL Division Series, starts at Wrigley Field, where he pitched just once and lost in 2016. Hendricks, who won his NLDS Game 1 start vs. the Nationals, takes the hill for the Cubs, who are trying to overcome an 0-2 deficit, something that has happened just five times in 47 such instances in LCS history. The Dodgers will look to remain unbeaten in these playoffs, as they look to set a franchise record with a sixth straight postseason win. Their five straight are tied with the 1959-63 Dodgers.

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The stagnant Cubs offense, which is hitting an MLB-worst .162 this postseason, have some lineup changes for Game 3, as Baez (0-for-19 these playoffs) was left out and Schwarber was inserted and bumped up to the two-hole. Schwarber started and batted seventh in Game 1 before seeing no action in Game 2. , and were each dropped down a spot from Game 2 to round out the heart of the order.

Bryant is 2-for-20 with 10 strikeouts his last five games, with a 44.3 percent whiff-to-swing rate in these playoffs, third highest, per Statcast™. Rizzo, the Cubs' catalyst against the Nationals, is hitless in his last 14 at-bats with six strikeouts.

Manager Joe Maddon has opted to keep left-handed-hitting in center field over Albert Almora Jr. against Darvish, who was spectacular in his lone postseason start against Arizona in the NLDS.

Darvish may have an edge against a Cubs lineup that's highly inexperienced against him. Among Cubs starters, only has more than three career plate appearances against Darvish, and he's a .167 hitter in 12 at-bats. The Dodgers' righty, who was acquired at the non-waiver Trade Deadline to make significant October starts such as these, is 3-0 with an 0.74 ERA over his last four outings. He's made just one career start against the Cubs, in July 2016, in which he gave up two earned runs in 4 1/3 innings in a defeat while pitching for the Rangers.

Game 3 will mark the second start at second base this postseason for Zobrist, who started there in Game 3 of the NLDS. Maddon wanted one more lefty in the lineup against Darvish, which is why he started Zobrist, a switch-hitter. If the Cubs get the lead, expect Baez on the field for defense.

"If we grab a lead, you've got to get him out there," Maddon said of Baez. "This kid is so good and such a big part of us. We have to keep moving forward. We have to keep playing to get him right."

For the Dodgers, Chris Taylor will play shortstop, a position at which he made 10 regular-season starts, and retain his spot at leadoff. has been moved up to cleanup, a spot at which he was experimented with some in April. Puig is 2-for-5 with a homer and three walks in the first two games of the series.

DODGERS

  1. Chris Taylor, SS

  2. , 1B

  3. , 3B

  4. Yasiel Puig, RF

  5. Andre Ethier, LF

  6. Chase Utley, 2B

  7. , C

  8. Joc Pederson, CF

  9. Yu Darvish, P

    CUBS

  10. Ben Zobrist, 2B

  11. Kyle Schwarber, LF

  12. Kris Bryant, 3B

  13. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

  14. Willson Contreras, C

  15. Jon Jay, CF

  16. , SS

  17. , RF

  18. Kyle Hendricks, P