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  • Baez and Lester share NLCS MVP honors
    Javier Baez and Jon Lester were named Co-MVPs of the 2016 NLCS.

    Advice: Baez went 0-for-3 with a strikeout and an error in Saturday's series-clincher but he provided plenty of heroics in the other five games. He hit .318 for the series with four RBI including three in the Cubs’ Game 5 victory. Meanwhile Lester won both of his starts against the Dodgers while recording a minuscule 1.38 ERA. Lester will start Game 1 of the World Series on normal rest Tuesday night in Cleveland. Yesterday, 8:25 pm
    New Player Note
    Javier Báez ChC - 2B,3B,SS
    W, 7-4 @Cin
  • Contreras takes Kershaw deep in Game 6
    Willson Contreras blasted his first career postseason homer Saturday in the Cubs' win over the Dodgers in Game 6 of the NLCS.

    Advice: Contreras connected on a hanging slider from Clayton Kershaw and socked it 379 feet into the left-field bleachers. The solo home run accounted for Contreras’ only hit of the night. It’s been a rapid ascent for Contreras. Four months ago the 24-year-old was toiling in Triple-A. Saturday he homered off Clayton Kershaw in a playoff game. The rookie has hit a remarkable .412 this postseason with four RBI across 20 at-bats. Yesterday, 8:23 pm
  • Anthony Rizzo homers in NLCS clicher
    Anthony Rizzo delivered two hits including a solo home run Saturday in the Cubs' win over the Dodgers in Game 6 of the NLCS.

    Advice: Rizzo reached on a two-base error in the first inning on a fly ball that should have been caught by left fielder Andrew Toles. He doubled into the ivy in center field in his next at-bat before mashing a goliath blast in the fifth inning for his second homer of the postseason. Prior to that at-bat, Clayton Kershaw hadn’t allowed a home run to a lefty in over a year. Rizzo was ice cold in the NLDS (1-for-15 with four strikeouts) but caught fire in the NLCS, hitting .320 for the series with five RBI. Rizzo and the Cubs will face Cleveland in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night. Yesterday, 8:21 pm
  • Clayton Kershaw falls apart in Game 6 loss
    Clayton Kershaw scattered seven hits and five runs (four earned) over five lackluster innings Saturday in the Dodgers' loss to the Cubs in Game 6 of the NLCS.

    Advice: Someday there will be a plaque in Cooperstown with Kershaw’s name on it. But Saturday night at Wrigley Field, he just didn’t have it. The Cubs began the game with back-to-back hits off Kershaw and never really let up. Kershaw yielded home runs to Willson Contreras and Anthony Rizzo before getting the hook. He wasn’t fooling anyone with his slider and he couldn’t throw his curve ball for strikes. Kershaw looked gassed on Saturday and for good reason. He gave the Dodgers everything he had this postseason, logging 24 1/3 innings after missing most of the second half with a back injury. Kershaw is now 4-7 with a 4.39 ERA over 17 career postseason appearances. Yesterday, 7:56 pm
  • Kyle Hendricks pitches Cubs to NL pennant
    Kyle Hendricks allowed just two hits over 7 1/3 shutout innings Saturday in the Cubs' win over the Dodgers in Game 6 of the NLCS.

    Advice: He finished with six strikeouts. It was a masterpiece from start to finish. Hendricks was quietly one of the best pitchers in baseball this year and reminded us why Saturday by out-pitching Clayton Kershaw in the Cubs’ biggest game of the season. He retired 15 straight hitters before yielding a one-out single to Josh Reddick in the eighth inning. Before that, he hadn’t allowed a hit since the first when Andrew Toles smacked a single on the game’s first pitch. Hendricks has been lights out this postseason with a 1.65 ERA over 16 1/3 innings. The Cubs are headed back to the World Series for the first time since 1945. They’ll play the Indians in Game 1 on Tuesday night. Yesterday, 7:53 pm
  • Marco Gonzales (elbow) resumes throwing
    Marco Gonzales (elbow) has resumed throwing.

    Advice: "I've been throwing for a couple of weeks now," he said. "I’m really happy with the progress and I know everyone that I’ve been working with down here is happy with it too." The left-hander is about six months removed from Tommy John surgery. Gonzalez has been throwing from 60 feet three times a week and will advance to 90 feet next week. If all goes well, he'll begin mound work in December. He should be ready to help the Cardinals' bullpen at some point in 2017. Yesterday, 3:49 pm
    W, 10-4 vs Pit
  • Kyle Schwarber activated from 60-day DL
    Cubs activated OF Kyle Schwarber from the 60-day disabled list.

    Advice: Giovanni Soto was designated for assignment in the corresponding roster move. Schwarber is scheduled to play in a simulated game on Sunday and is hoping to be ready for the World Series, should the Cubs advance. If Schwarber does return, he would likely serve as the designated hitter when the Cubs are in Cleveland. Yesterday, 3:43 pm
    W, 7-4 @Cin
  • Phillies could make Vincent Velasquez available's Todd Zolecki said he would not be surprised if the Phillies looked to trade Vincent Velasquez this offseason.

    Advice: The Phillies entertained offers for Velasquez around the trade deadline but never pulled the trigger. Velasquez got off to a solid start this year but ran out of gas in the second half (5.33 ERA after the All-Star break). Velasquez arrived in Philly last offseason in a trade that sent star closer Ken Giles to Houston. The rebuilding Phillies could probably land a nice haul of prospects for Velasquez, who turned 24 in June. Yesterday, 3:38 pm
  • Nationals could bring back Stephen Drew
    Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports believes there is "mutual interest" in Stephen Drew returning to the Nationals next season.

    Advice: Drew enjoyed a solid second half (.308 AVG after the break) and has been a leader in the Nats' clubhouse. His return will depend on how the Nats plan on using Trea Turner, who played almost exclusively in center field this year but spent most of his minor league career at shortstop. If Turner moves back to shortstop, the Nats would likely keep Danny Espinosa as a backup infielder, eliminating the need for Drew. Yesterday, 3:29 pm
    New Player Note
    Stephen Drew Was - 2B,3B,SS
    W, 10-7 vs Mia
  • Olney: No urgency for Mets to re-sign Cespedes
    According to ESPN's Buster Olney, there is "no urgency" for the Mets to re-sign Yoenis Cespedes.

    Advice: Cespedes is fully expected to opt out of his three-year contract this offseason. While the Mets are certainly open to keeping Cespedes (particularly if he's willing to accept another front-loaded deal), the team has plenty of outfield depth with Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto all under contract for 2017. Cespedes led the Mets in home runs (31), RBI (86) and runs scored (72) this past season. Yesterday, 3:14 pm
  • Giovanni Soto designated for assignment
    Cubs designated LHP Giovanni Soto for assignment.

    Advice: The move clears a roster spot for Kyle Schwarber, who has moved his rehab to the Arizona Fall League in hopes of returning for the World Series (if the Cubs make it). Soto spent all of 2016 at the Triple-A level, compiling a disappointing 5.14 ERA over 33 outings for Iowa. The 25-year-old made six relief appearances for Cleveland in 2015. Yesterday, 2:55 pm
    Not Active
    W, 7-4 @Cin
  • Epstein 'not ruling out' Schwarber's return
    When asked about Kyle Schwarber's availability for the World Series, Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said, "We're not ruling anything in, we're not ruling anything out."

    Advice: Manager Joe Maddon confirmed there's a "chance" Schwarber could DH if the Cubs advance to the World Series. Schwarber resumed batting practice on Monday after being cleared by Dr. Daniel Cooper at his six-month check-up following ACL surgery. He's also slated to begin playing for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League on Saturday. If the Cubs do get past the Dodgers, the DH will be available for Games 1, 3, 6 and 7. Yesterday, 2:28 pm
    W, 7-4 @Cin
  • Rich Hill could earn 3-year, $45 million contract
    Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe suggests Rich Hill could be in line for a three-year, $45 million deal in free agency.

    Advice: It would be a hefty raise for Hill, who earned $6 million this past season. He's certainly earned it. The 36-year-old pitched to a marvelous 2.12 ERA in 20 starts for the Dodgers and A's this year, though blister issues and a minor groin injury limited him to just 20 starts. It's possible the Dodgers could extend a one-year, $17.2 million qualifying offer to Hill, though Cafardo believes he would reject it given the dearth of starting pitching available this offseason. Yesterday, 2:13 pm
  • Cafardo: Nats to 'go hard' for Mark Melancon
    According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Nationals are expected to "go hard" for Mark Melancon in free agency.

    Advice: Melancon was dominant in his two-month stretch with Washington, converting 17-of-18 save chances to go with a magnificent 1.82 ERA. The soon-to-be free agent should have a robust market this winter, so the Nats will have to pay top dollar to retain him. Per Cafardo, Melancon would welcome being used in an Andrew Miller-type role as long as he earns closer money. Cafardo believes Melancon could draw interest from the Red Sox, who he played for in 2012. Yesterday, 2:04 pm
  • Tigers will look to trade Upton this offseason
    According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the Tigers will attempt to dump Justin Upton's salary this winter.

    Advice: In other words, he's available for trade. Upton, who is just one year into a six-year contract, carries a partial no-trade clause that allows him to block deals to 20 teams. The 29-year-old matched a career-high with 31 homers this past season, though Upton's .246 average was his lowest since 2007. He also struck out 179 times, which was fourth-most in the major leagues. Despite finishing just 2.5 games out of a playoff spot this year, Olney said the Tigers will listen to trade offers for anyone including Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera. Yesterday, 1:36 pm
  • All in: Toles batting leadoff for NLCS Game 6
    Andrew Toles will start in left field and bat leadoff for the Dodgers Saturday against the Cubs in Game 6 of the NLCS.

    Advice: Toles didn't start Game 5 with lefty Jon Lester on the mound but he's back in there Saturday versus right-hander Kyle Hendricks. The rookie has had a marvelous postseason, hitting .368 with two RBI over 10 contests. Toles saw just one at-bat out of the leadoff spot during the regular season. The Dodgers' full Game 6 lineup is as follows: Andrew Toles LF, Corey Seager SS, Justin Turner 3B, Adrian Gonzalez 1B, Josh Reddick RF, Joc Pederson CF, Yasmani Grandal C, Chase Utley 2B and Clayton Kershaw P. Yesterday, 1:10 pm
  • Jason Heyward not in Cubs lineup on Saturday
    Jason Heyward is not in the Cubs starting lineup for Game 6 of the NLCS against the Dodgers on Saturday.

    Advice: With world-class left-hander Clayton Kershaw on the hill for the Dodgers, Heyward will take a seat on the pine in favor of Albert Almora Jr. Here's the full lineup for the Cubs as they look to defeat Clayton Kershaw and advance to the World Series: Dexter Fowler CF, Kris Bryant 3B, Anthony Rizzo 1B, Ben Zobrist LF, Javy Baez 2B, Willson Contreras C, Addison Russell SS, Albert Almora Jr RF, Kyle Hendricks P. Yesterday, 12:13 pm
  • Kyle Schwarber could DH in World Series
    According to Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic, Kyle Schwarber could serve as the Cubs' designated hitter should they advance to the World Series.

    Advice: Schwarber will begin playing in the Arizona Fall League on Saturday. If he proves his health over the next couple of days there and the Cubs advance past the Dodgers, there's a very real possibility that Schwarber (who is the club's all-time leader in postseason home runs with five) could return. Yesterday, 11:14 am
    W, 7-4 @Cin
  • Kyle Schwarber to play in Arizona Fall League
    Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports that Kyle Schwarber will play in the Arizona Fall League to continue his recovery from knee surgery.

    Advice: He's expected to debut for the Mesa Solar Sox on Saturday. The 23-year-old missed nearly the entire 2016 season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL and LCL in his left knee. He is well ahead of schedule in his recovery and has shown gradual improvement in his agility drills over the past month. He remains a big part of the Cubs' plans heading into the 2017 season. Yesterday, 10:46 am
    W, 7-4 @Cin
  • Carter Capps ahead of schedule in recovery
    Carter Capps (elbow) is reportedly ahead of schedule in his recovery from Tommy John surgery and could be ready for the start of the 2017 season.

    Advice: The hard-throwing right-hander has been throwing aggressively for nearly a month now. A dominant arm in the late innings, Capps could be looked at as a solution in the ninth inning for the Padres in 2017. Yesterday, 10:33 am
    60-Day DL
    L, 3-2 @Ari
  • Vargas will pitch in Mexican Winter League
    The Padres announced Saturday that Cesar Vargas (elbow) will pitch in the Mexican Winter League.

    Advice: The right-hander missed the final four months of the regular season due to a flexor strain in his pitching elbow. He posted a 5.03 ERA, 1.65 WHIP and 28/15 K/BB ratio across 34 innings before the injury struck. Yesterday, 10:29 am
    60-Day DL
    L, 3-2 @Ari
  • Cosart undergoes successful elbow surgery
    The Padres announced Saturday that Jarred Cosart underwent successful surgery to remove loose bodies from his pitching elbow.

    Advice: The bone spur in his elbow caused Cosart to miss his final two starts of the regular season. He'll be sidelined for the next six weeks before he's able to resume throwing. The club believes that he'll be fully recovered and ready to go for the start of spring training. Yesterday, 10:25 am
    L, 3-2 @Ari
  • Padres remain hopeful Rea can avoid surgery
    According to AJ Cassavell of, the Padres remain hopeful that Colin Rea will be able to avoid Tommy John surgery.

    Advice: He's trying the path of rest, rehab and platelet-rich plasma injections instead of opting for surgery and everything appears to be progressing nicely. Cassavell notes that he's about three weeks away from facing live hitters. The Padres are mulling their potential options for Rea, which could include sending him to the Arizona Fall League or winter ball to get some work in. Yesterday, 7:01 am
    L, 3-2 @Ari
  • Braves could still be interested in McCann
    Mark Bowman of speculates that the Braves could reconsider approaching the Yankees about trading for Brian McCann this offseason.

    Advice: The Braves are in the market for another catcher to pair with Tyler Flowers, and with the free agent market looking quite barren in terms of quality backstops, a reunion with McCann continues to make sense. The Yankees, who demanded either Mike Foltynewicz or Ender Inciarte the last time these two squads discussed a deal, will have to lower their asking price if a deal is to be consummated. Yesterday, 6:56 am
    L, 5-2 vs Bal
  • Ian Desmond not ruling out return to Nats
    According to Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post, neither Ian Desmond nor the Nationals have ruled out a potential reunion this offseason.

    Advice: The Nationals are in the market for a right-handed power bat, preferably that could play center field, and Desmond certainly fits the bill as one of the top hitters on the market. After seven seasons with the Nats, Desmond left to sign a one-year deal with the Rangers last winter, rebuilding his value with a tremendous .285/.335/.446 slash line with 22 homers, 86 RBI and 21 stolen bases. Friday, 6:52 pm
    Player Note
    Ian Desmond Tex - SS,OF
    L, 6-4 vs TB
  • Trevor Bauer (finger) gets additional suture
    Trevor Bauer will be given additional suture work on his lacerated right pinky in hopes of preventing it from bleeding.

    Advice: Bauer lasted just two-thirds of an inning in his NLCS Game 3 start after the cut on his finger opened up. He's confident that he'll be able to make a start during the World Series, but then again he also expressed confidence going into his NLCS start. It remains a cloudy situation for now, but more information on his status should be available over the weekend. Friday, 12:09 pm
    W, 3-2 @KC
  • Braves ink Sam Freeman to minors deal
    Braves signed LHP Sam Freeman to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

    Advice: Freeman, 29, holds a 3.87 ERA with nearly a strikeout per inning over parts of five big league seasons, but he's always had awful control. However, as a lefty who throws in the mid-90s, he's certainly worth a shot on a minor league contract. Friday, 11:45 am
    Not Active
    W, 1-0 vs Det
  • Javier Baez says he feels fine after Game 5
    Javier Baez said after Game 5 of the NLCS that he feels fine.

    Advice: Baez felt something in his ankle after rounding second base on his bases-clearing double in the eighth inning, but he stayed in the game and told reporters after that he's 100 percent. He should be good to go for Game 6 on Saturday in Chicago. Thursday, 10:34 pm
    New Player Note
    Javier Báez ChC - 2B,3B,SS
    W, 7-4 @Cin
  • Russell homers in second straight game
    Addison Russell went 2-for-5 with a two-run homer in Thursday’s Game 5 win over the Dodgers.

    Advice: We’re probably not going to hear any more calls to bench him anytime soon. The game was tied 1-1 before Russell put the Cubs ahead with a two-run blast to distant center field against Joe Blanton in the sixth. The Cubs tacked on five more runs in the eighth to put the game out of reach. After going 1-for-24 to begin the postseason, Russell has now homered in back-to-back games. Thursday, 9:29 pm
    W, 7-4 @Cin
  • Javy Baez hits bases-clearing double in win
    Javier Baez went 3-for-5 with a bases-clearing double, a run scored, and a stolen base in a win over the Dodgers in Game 5 of the NLCS on Thursday.

    Advice: The Cubs had a four-run lead when Baez came up with the bases loaded in the top of the eighth and he put the game to bed with a drive which nearly went over the right-center field fence. He gave the Cubs a bit of a scare when he came up hobbled after changing his mind about going for a triple, but fortunately he felt well enough to stay in the ballgame. Baez has arguably been the breakout star of the postseason. In addition to his excellent defense, he’s batting .371/.395/.571 across nine games. Thursday, 9:28 pm
    New Player Note
    Javier Báez ChC - 2B,3B,SS
    W, 7-4 @Cin
  • Kershaw told Dodgers he'd pitch whenever
    Clayton Kershaw said Thursday that he told the Dodgers he'll pitch whenever they want.

    Advice: This includes Game 5 of the NLCS against the Cubs on Thursday. "My stance is always the same," said Kershaw, who currently lines up to start Game 6 on Saturday on five days' rest. We doubt that is going to change. Thursday, 3:44 pm
  • Bauer (finger) expects to be ready for the WS
    Trevor Bauer said he expects his sliced right pinkie to heal in time for the World Series.

    Advice: Cleveland has a long layoff after beating the Blue Jays in five games in the ALCS, which might mess with some players but should be a great benefit to Bauer. He suffered a deep cut on the pinkie of his throwing hand last week while cleaning a remotely controlled drone and he had to exit Monday's ALCS Game 3 start in Toronto after just two-thirds of an inning because he couldn't stop bleeding. "I'll be ready to pitch in the World Series whenever they need me," Bauer told reporters on Wednesday. "I'm doing everything I can and I'll be back out there for sure." Thursday, 8:33 am
    W, 3-2 @KC
  • Kershaw to start Game 6 of NLCS vs. Cubs
    Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed late Wednesday that Clayton Kershaw will start Game 6 of the NLCS.

    Advice: Kershaw was going to be an option for Game 5 if the Dodgers were facing elimination, but the best-of-seven series is tied 2-2 so Kenta Maeda will pitch on normal rest Thursday at home against Cubs. Kershaw will go in Game 6 on Saturday night at Wrigley Field, after five full days off. The ace left-hander dazzled over seven shutout innings in Game 2 this past Sunday at Wrigley. Thursday, 5:12 am
  • Rizzo homers as Cubs offense lurches to life
    Anthony Rizzo went 3-for-5 with a solo home run and a two-run single in Wednesday's 10-2 win over the Dodgers in Game 4 of the NLCS.

    Advice: The Cubs had been shut out in each of their last two games. They started out Wednesday's Game 4 in slow fashion, too, before finally revving to life with four runs in the fourth inning. Rizzo didn't strike in that frame, but came through with a solo homer off Pedro Baez to open the fifth. Prior to launching that homer, Rizzo was just 2-for-28 this postseason. The dinger was his third career postseason homer and his first this year. He later picked up a two-run single, too, a nice sign for the Cubs as they head into Game 5. Wednesday, 9:20 pm
  • Russell snaps skid with two-run HR in Gm. 4
    Addison Russell launched a two-run home run off Julio Urias in the fourth inning of Wednesday's 10-2 win over the Dodgers in Game 4 of the NLCS.

    Advice: At the time Russell smashed his two-run opposite field homer to right with one out in the fourth inning, he had managed just one hit in his last 25 postseason at-bats and was hit-less in his last 18. He broke out and then some starting with that homer. He would go on to pick up two additional singles before the end of the game. Manager Joe Maddon dropped Russell from seventh to eighth in the lineup for Wednesday's game, but wouldn't leave the 22-year-old shortstop out of the loop completely. That patience looks sharp in hindsight. Russell and the Cubs will be opposed by Kenta Maeda in Game 5 as both teams look to snap a 2-2 series tie. Wednesday, 9:15 pm
    W, 7-4 @Cin
  • Dodgers keep lineup the same for NLCS Game 4
    Andrew Toles will again start in left field and bat eighth for Game 4 of the NLCS against the Cubs on Wednesday.

    Advice: Same lineup the Dodgers have been tossing out there since Game 2. They are looking to push the Cubs to the brink of elimination and will trot out southpaw Julio Urias to aid that cause, opposed by veteran hurler John Lackey. The Dodgers lineup for Game 4: Chase Utley 2B, Corey Seager SS, Justin Turner 3B, Adrian Gonzalez 1B, Josh Reddick RF, Joc Pederson CF, Yasmani Grandal, Andrew Toles LF, Julio Urías P. Wednesday, 2:13 pm
  • Cubs drop Addison Russell to 8th for Game 4
    Addison Russell has been dropped to eighth in the Cubs' starting lineup for Game 4 of the NCLS on Wednesday.

    Advice: With the Cubs trailing 2-1 in the series, manager Joe Maddon has made a few notable changes. Russell, who was batting seventh on Tuesday, has been bumped down a spot in the lineup. Jason Heyward will hit seventh in his place after failing to draw the right field start on Tuesday. The Cubs full lineup for Game 4: Dexter Fowler CF, Kris Bryant 3B, Anthony Rizzo 1B, Ben Zobrist LF, Javier Baez 2B, Wilson Contreras C, Jason Heyward RF, Addison Russell SS, John Lackey P. They will be opposed by young Dodgers southpaw Julio Urias. Wednesday, 1:37 pm
    W, 7-4 @Cin
  • Francona hoping Bauer (finger) a pen option
    Prior to Game 5 of the ALCS, Indians manager Terry Francona said that he hoped that Trevor Bauer (finger) could be an option out of the bullpen should the series elongate.

    Advice: "[We want] to look and see if he's potentially a guy that could pitch out of the bullpen later in this series. I don't know if that's realistic or not," Francona said. Bauer was forced to exit in the first inning of Game 3 after a laceration on his right pinkie opened up. Francona relayed that the cut would be reexamined by hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham while the Indians are in Toronto. Wednesday, 1:25 pm
    W, 3-2 @KC
  • Addison Russell remains hitless vs. Dodgers
    Addison Russell finished 0-for-2 with a strikeout as the Cubs fell to the Dodgers in Game 3 of the NLCS on Tuesday.

    Advice: Cubs manager Joe Maddon actually pulled his young shortstop for a pinch-hitter in the top of the seventh -- Jayson Heyward, who promptly struck out. Russell is hitless in the NLCS, and he has just one hit in 24 total at-bats since the playoffs began. He looks like a guy who could use a day off, but that's obviously not an option at the moment. Tuesday, 8:49 pm
    W, 7-4 @Cin
  • Hill stellar over six, Dodgers take NLCS lead
    Rich Hill shut out the Cubs over six innings Tuesday in the Dodgers' 6-0 NLCS Game 3 victory.

    Advice: Hill was sensational, yielding just two walks and two hits -- both singles -- while striking out six. He ran into a bit of trouble in the top of the second, but the crafty left-hander was able to strand Anthony Rizzo at third base and Jorge Soler at second base with a strikeout of Addison Russell and a groundout from Miguel Montero. Joe Blanton, Grant Dayton, and closer Kenley Jansen combined to finish off the shutout. It's the first time in history the Cubs have been shut out in consecutive postseason games. Los Angeles leads 2-1 in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series. Tuesday, 8:30 pm
  • Kershaw 'prepared' to start Game 5 of NLCS
    Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he hasn't spoken to Clayton Kershaw about starting Game 5 of the NLCS but noted the ace left-hander is "prepared for anything."

    Advice: Kershaw is almost certain to take the ball in Game 5 if the Dodgers are facing elimination, but he'll go in Game 6 otherwise. Kershaw dazzled over seven shutout innings in Game 2 of the NLCS on Sunday against the Cubs, striking out six while yielding just a pair of singles and a walk in the Dodgers' 1-0 victory. Kenta Maeda is lined up to start Game 5 for now. Tuesday, 1:45 pm
  • Jason Heyward not in lineup for Game 3
    Jason Heyward is not in the starting lineup for Game 3 of the NLCS against the Dodgers on Tuesday.

    Advice: Heyward will take a seat against left-hander Rich Hill. The 27-year-old hit just .207/.300/.286 against southpaws this season. Jorge Soler will make the start in right field while Javier Baez will slide into the No. 5 spot in the order. The full lineup for the Cubs: Dexter Fowler CF, Kris Bryant 3B, Ben Zobrist LF, Anthony Rizzo 1B, Baez 2B, Soler RF, Addison Russell SS, Miguel Montero C, Jake Arrieta SP. Tuesday, 12:57 pm
  • Toles starting in LF again in NLCS Game 3
    Andrew Toles will start in left field and bat eighth again in Game 3 of the NLCS against the Cubs on Tuesday.

    Advice: Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is going with the same lineup he used in the Game 2 victory. Toles is 4-for-13 (.314) with an RBI double this postseason. The full lineup: Chase Utley 2B, Corey Seager SS, Justin Turner 3B, Adrian González 1B, Josh Reddick RF, Joc Pederson CF, Yasmani Grandal C, Toles LF, Rich Hill SP. Jake Arrieta will start for Chicago. Tuesday, 12:52 pm
  • Indians not ruling out Bauer for rest of ALCS
    The Indians aren't ruling out Trevor Bauer (finger) being available to pitch for them in a potential Game 6 or 7 of the ALCS.

    Advice: Bauer had to depart Monday's Game 3 start after just two-thirds of an inning when the cut on his right pinky opened up. Given how bad it looked, it's hard to imagine the finger being in good enough shape to handle pitching later this week. However, the Indians apparently aren't ruling it out. Ideally, they'd obviously love to close out the Blue Jays as quick as possible and give Bauer plenty of rest before the World Series. Monday, 9:22 pm
    W, 3-2 @KC
  • Bauer (finger) exits after 2/3 of an inning
    Trevor Bauer departed Monday's ALCS Game 3 against the Blue Jays after two-thirds of an inning when the stitches in his right pinky came loose.

    Advice: Bauer had his start pushed back after cutting his finger while repairing his drone, and he couldn't make it through one inning even after the extra time to heal. There was blood pouring out of the finger and he simply couldn't go on, as he was pulled with two outs and two runners on. His status for the rest of the ALCS and perhaps the World Series (should the Indians make it) is very much in question. Corey Kluber is now looking likely to start Game 4 on short rest, with Ryan Merritt going in Game 5. Monday, 5:39 pm
    W, 3-2 @KC
  • Javier Baez breaks up perfect game on Sunday
    Javier Baez broke up Clayton Kershaw's bid for a perfect game with a two-out single in the fifth inning of Sunday's Game 2 of the NLCS.

    Advice: His single was followed by another from teammate Willson Contreras, which proved to be the club's only two hits in the entire contest. Baez also showed off his baseball IQ in the sixth inning, letting a weak line drive drop in front of him at second base and turning it into an inning-ending 4-6-5-6 double play. With his 1-for-3 effort on Sunday, Baez is now hitting .391/.417/.609 on the postseason. Oct 16, 8:03 pm
    New Player Note
    Javier Báez ChC - 2B,3B,SS
    W, 7-4 @Cin
  • Clayton Kershaw dazzles in Game 2 victory
    Clayton Kershaw dazzled over seven shutout innings on Sunday, defeating the Cubs in Game 2 of the NLCS.

    Advice: The star southpaw punched out six on the night while allowing just a pair of singles and one walk. He was perfect through the first 4 2/3 innings before Javy Baez singled with two outs in the fifth. Willson Contreras immediately followed with another single to give the Cubs their largest threat, but Kershaw was able to bear down and get Jason Heyward to pop out to end the inning. He now sports a 3.72 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 25/4 K/BB ratio across 19 1/3 innings this postseason. He's expected to get the ball again in Game 6 of the series, though if the Dodgers are facing elimination in Game 5, that plan could change. Oct 16, 7:57 pm
  • Hendricks pitches well in loss to Dodgers
    Kyle Hendricks pitched well in a losing effort against the Dodgers in Game 2 of the NLCS on Sunday, surrendering just one run on three hits over 5 1/3 innings.

    Advice: The right-hander uncharacteristically walked four on the night while striking out five. The only blemish on his evening was a solo home run off the bat of Adrian Gonzalez leading off the second inning. That would prove to be the only offense in the ballgame for either side. He'll get a chance for redemption against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers should the series stretch to six games. Oct 16, 7:55 pm
  • Dodgers start nearly all left-handed hitters
    Andrew Toles will start in left field and bat eighth for the Dodgers in Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs on Sunday.

    Advice: Justin Turner is the only batter that Kyle Hendricks will face from the right side of the plate. Here's how the full lineup shakes out for Dave Roberts' club: Chase Utley 2B, Corey Seager SS, Justin Turner 3B, Adrian Gonzalez 1B, Josh Reddick RF, Joc Pederson CF, Yasmani Grandal C, Toles LF, Clayton Kershaw P. Oct 16, 1:28 pm
  • Willson Contreras starting NLCS Game 2
    Willson Contreras is starting at catcher and batting seventh in Sunday's NLCS Game 2 versus the Dodgers.

    Advice: Jon Lester's personal catcher David Ross drew the start in Game 1, but it will be Contreras behind the dish with Kyle Hendricks on the mound. Jason Heyward is getting another start even with the Dodgers throwing southpaw ace Clayton Kershaw, although he has moved down to the No. 8 spot in the order. The Cubs' full lineup looks like this: Dexter Fowler CF, Kris Bryant 3B, Anthony Rizzo 1B, Ben Zobrist LF, Addison Russell SS, Javier Baez 2B, Contreras C, Heyward RF, Hendricks P. Oct 16, 12:22 pm
  • Trevor Bauer (finger) has played catch twice
    Trevor Bauer has played catch twice since suffering a lacerated right pinky finger while repairing his drone.

    Advice: Bauer was pushed back from Game 2 to Game 3 of the ALCS following the incident, but the Indians expect him to be fine to pitch Monday in Toronto. The club will obviously keep a close eye on him to make sure the injury isn't affecting him at all. "The first concern is that you hope it doesn't interfere with his touch and feel to pitch," said manager Terry Francona. "I don't think that's an issue because he's already thrown twice. Then we have to make sure that the thing doesn't open up to where it's bleeding, because they won't let him pitch." Oct 16, 6:35 am
    W, 3-2 @KC
  • Baez steals home in Cubs' Game 1 victory
    Javier Baez broke out for two hits and a stolen base in the Cubs' win over the Dodgers Saturday in Game 1 of the NLCS.

    Advice: Another day, another dazzling performance from Baez, who is quickly becoming the breakout star of this year’s postseason. Baez stole the show in the second inning by plating Jason Heyward on a double to right field. The hit would have been a single for most players but Baez motored into second to secure the two-bagger. Later in the inning Baez made a move toward home on a failed suicide squeeze, hesitated, then stole the base after catcher Carlos Ruiz made an ill-advised throw to third base. In doing so, Baez became the first Cub to steal home in the postseason since 1907. Baez added a double in the sixth inning for good measure. He’s hit .400 with a homer, three RBI and five runs this postseason. Oct 15, 9:02 pm
    New Player Note
    Javier Báez ChC - 2B,3B,SS
    W, 7-4 @Cin
  • Hill announced as Dodgers' Game 3 starter
    Updating an earlier report, Rich Hill will start Tuesday against the Cubs in Game 3 of the NLCS.

    Advice: He'll be going on normal rest after pitching Thursday in Game 5 of the NLDS against Washington. This also puts Hill in line to start Game 7, if necessary. Hill did not pitch against the Cubs during the regular season. Clayton Kershaw will start Game 2 for the Dodgers while manager Dave Roberts has yet to announce who will pitch in Game 4. Oct 15, 3:07 pm
  • Rich Hill expects to pitch Game 3 of NLCS
    Rich Hill said he'll be available to start Tuesday against the Cubs in Game 3 of the NLCS.

    Advice: Hill has been excellent when healthy but has battled blister problems all year and was lifted after only 2 2/3 innings Thursday in Game 5 of the NLDS against Washington. He made it through Saturday's bullpen session without issue, which should put him in line to start Tuesday's Game 3. "I could pitch today," said Hill. "It's all hands on deck." Hill went 0-1 with a 6.43 ERA over two starts in the Division Series. Oct 15, 2:39 pm
  • Kershaw officially announced as Game 2 starter
    The Dodgers have officially announced Clayton Kershaw as the starter for Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs.

    Advice: The move was widely expected but was not announced until Saturday. Kershaw said at Saturday's press conference that he'll have no restrictions in Game 2. The last time we saw Kershaw was Thursday night when he threw seven pitches to pick up the save in the Dodgers' NLDS-clinching win over the Nationals. He hasn't pitched all that well this postseason, logging a mediocre 5.84 ERA over 12 1/3 innings. The Cubs will counter with Kyle Hendricks, who led the majors in ERA this season. Oct 15, 2:30 pm
  • Clayton Kershaw expected to start Game 2
    Dodgers manager Dave Roberts indicated Friday that Clayton Kershaw will start Sunday's NLCS Game 2 versus the Cubs.

    Advice: Kershaw threw 110 pitches on three days' rest in Game 4 of the NLDS and seven pitches on one day of rest in Game 5, and now he'll come back for another start on two days' rest. The left-hander will face Kyle Hendricks on Sunday. Oct 14, 2:40 pm
  • Hendricks (forearm) cleared to start Game 2
    Kyle Hendricks (forearm) will start Game 2 of the NLCS against the Dodgers on Sunday.

    Advice: Hendricks was officially given the go-ahead after getting through another bullpen session Friday with no issues. The right-hander was struck on the pitching forearm by a line drive in his NLDS Game 2 outing, but he's feeling fine now. He'll be preceded by Jon Lester and followed by Jake Arrieta and John Lackey. Oct 14, 12:46 pm
  • Hendricks (forearm) says he's ready to go
    Kyle Hendricks (forearm) threw another bullpen session Friday and declared himself ready to pitch whenever the Cubs need him.

    Advice: Hendricks had to exit Game 2 of the NLDS against the Giants after being hit in the right forearm by a liner, but he's recovered nicely. He'll presumably start one of Games 2-4, although the Cubs have yet to officially announce anything beyond Jon Lester getting the ball in Game 1 on Saturday. Oct 14, 12:29 pm
  • Trevor Bauer (pinky) pushed back to Game 3
    Trevor Bauer's first start of the ALCS has been pushed back to Game 3 after he suffered a non-baseball injury to his right pinky.

    Advice: Bauer apparently cut the outside of his pinky while repairing his drone. Seriously. He'll get a couple extra days to heal and will start the first game in Toronto, with Josh Tomlin moving up to start Game 2 in Cleveland. Corey Kluber is opposing Marco Estrada in Game 1 on Friday. Oct 14, 12:07 pm
    W, 3-2 @KC
  • Hill pulled in third inning against Nationals
    Rich Hill lasted just 2 2/3 innings in Game 5 of the NLDS against the Nationals on Thursday.

    Advice: Hill was going on short rest in a do-or-die game, so he wasn’t expected to work deep into this one, but the Dodgers ideally would have gotten more from him. They ended up winning anyway. Hill threw 55 pitches while giving up three hits and two walks (one intentional). Six of his eight outs were via the strikeout. Oct 13, 9:57 pm
  • Kershaw gets the save as Dodgers move on
    Clayton Kershaw secured the final two outs for his first career save as the Dodgers beat the Nationals in the decisive Game 5 of the NLDS on Thursday.

    Advice: It was assumed that Kershaw wouldn't be available after he threw 110 pitches in short rest in Game 4 on Tuesday, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts threw all the rules out the window in this one. Kenley Jansen was clearly spent after throwing 51 pitches over 2 1/3 innings and walking a pair of batters in the ninth, so Roberts called on Kershaw to face Daniel Murphy. He got him to pop up to second base before striking out Wilmer Difo swinging for the win. This was Kershaw's first relief appearance since Game 5 of the 2009 NLCS. Oct 13, 9:44 pm
  • Kershaw not available to pitch in Game 5
    Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that Clayton Kershaw is "absolutely not" available for Game 5 of the NLDS against the Nationals on Thursday.

    Advice: It's not a big surprise. Kershaw threw 110 pitches on short rest in Game 4 on Tuesday. Rich Hill will start Game 5 and Julio Urias could end up playing a big role out of the bullpen. Oct 13, 2:38 pm
  • Rich Hill confirmed as LAD's Game 5 starter
    Rich Hill will start Game 5 of the NLDS on Thursday against the Nationals, the Dodgers confirmed.

    Advice: Hill announced to reporters that he would be the Game 5 starter following Tuesday's Game 4 victory, and now it is official. The veteran left-hander allowed four runs on two walks and six hits over 4 1/3 innings in the Dodgers' NLDS Game 2 loss at Washington. He'll try to out-pitch Max Scherzer in Thursday night's loser-goes-home matchup at Nationals Park. Oct 13, 8:38 am
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