Chicago Cubs vs Washington Nationals NLDS Preview with Mark Gonzales

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The postseason will soon be upon us as the Chicago Cubs visit the Washington Nationals for game one of the National League Division Series Friday night. With us to preview the NLDS is the Chicago Tribune’s Cubs beat writer, Mark Gonzales.

Keep up with his work at this link, follow him on Twitter here (@MDGonzales). There are numerous storylines to this series, first and foremost would be injuries to the top of the rotations guys on both teams.

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“Certainly there’s some intrigue, in the case of the Nats, it’s Max Scherzer, and I think that’s going to be felt more than anyone expects because I think this guy was close to a game one victory lock,” Gonzales said. ”

And not having him game one could really change the landscape quite a bit, while the Cubs have survived over the last month without Arrieta, but he did come back and pitch a couple games, but he wasn’t that sharp, but I think anything you’d get from him in the playoffs would be a bonus.”

“They’re more equipped depth wise than the Nats at this point, but the Nats have the more dominant starting pitching if Scherzer is healthy combined with Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez, the lefty who won 15 games, formerly with the White Sox.”

Listen to the podcast with Gonzalez, via Sound Cloud below:

The Cubs will set their rotation tomorrow, and we asked Gonzalez if it were up to him which way he would go.

“Kyle Hendricks in game one, Jon Lester in game two, Jose Quintana in game three and we’ll see about game four, I’m not totally sold on Arrieta, he pitches a simulated game Wednesday that’s a yellow flag to me at best, if he’s pitching a simulated game because nothing duplicates game action, and I think they’re in a wait-and-see mode with him,” he said.

Under the Radar Players to Watch:

Washington Nationals:  “It’s got to be Trae Turner who just creates havoc at the top of the order. If he gets on base he’s just going to have the Cubs on the back of their heels.”

Cubs: “I think Willson Contreras is the key for the Cubs, especially with his ability to shut down the running game, and also batting behind Rizzo, he’s going to have chances I believe, with runners on base to drive in some runs.”

Prediction: Gonzalez is holding off on making his pick, until we know more about Scherzer and his health

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Game 1 Friday, October 7 Cubs at Nationals 6:30 p.m. CT
Game 2 Saturday, October 8 Cubs at Nationals 4:30 p.m. CT
Game 3 Monday, October 9 Nationals at Cubs TBD
Game 4 (if necessary) Tuesday, October 10 Nationals at Cubs TBD
Game 5 (if necessary) Thursday, October 12 Cubs at Nationals TBD

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VII- Urban Meyer, P.J. Fleck, FOX 32’s Rafer Weigel

VI- Chicago Now, Cubs Den Flashback, Tribute to John Arguello

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Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now and Minute Media. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.

Follow him on TwitterInstagramSound Cloud, LinkedIn and YouTube

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