Pitching Matchups

Games 1 & 5 (if nec.): Jon Lester vs. Corey Kluber

Games 2 & 6 (if nec.): Jake Arrieta vs. Trevor Bauer

Games 3 & 7 (if nec.): Kyle Hendricks vs. Josh Tomlin

Game 4: John Lackey vs. TBD

As far as rotation depth is concerned, the Indians have surprisingly received stellar output from top to bottom. For the Cubs, Lester and Hendricks have most certainly done their part. With that said, the guy they need to standout, a potential X-Factor in the series, is Jake Arrieta.

Aside from his 2015 NL Wild Card game masterpiece, the right-hander, who has been superb throughout the last two regular seasons, has developed a subpar postseason track record. Since that start, Chicago is 1-3 when he is on the mound in a playoff game, a result of his dismal 5.82 ERA.

If the Cubs want to prevail, they will need to be three-dimensional rather than two-dimensional. Games 2 and 6 will be pivotal to the complexion of the series, with Arrieta taking forefront.