NLCS 2016: Is Game 5 more important to Cubs or Dodgers?
Game 5 of the NLCS between the Cubs and Dodgers is important.Duh, right? The series is tied 2-2, and the team that wins Game 5 of a best-of-seven series that’s tied 2-2 goes on to win 70.2 percent of the time (40 of 57). That nugget is courtesy of Stats, LLC. But it’s not enough in this scream-loud, scream-often world of ours just to say that the game’s equally important to both squads.MORE: Ranking the 50 best players in the playoffs No, it has to be deemed more important to one team or the other, so we’ll take that dive and offer up a series of hot-take quick-hits on why Game 5 is more important for either the Cubs or the Dodgers. Some are legit, some are tongue-in-cheek.— Game 5 is obviously more important for the Cubs because, y’know, that Clayton Kershaw guy is pitching, on full rest, for the Dodgers in Game 6. You’ll remember that the Cubs managed just two hits off Kershaw the first time they faced him, a game they lost 1-0. The Cubs have to make sure they’re not facing this particular lefty in an elimination game. — Game 5 is obviously more important for the Dodgers because star closer Kenley Jansen’s arm might fall off by the time a potential Game 7 rolls around, and this time Kershaw, who’s starting Game 6, probably won’t be around to get late outs like he did to close out the NLDS against the Nationals. Jansen has been awesome, no doubt, but he’s already thrown 146 pitches over 8 2/3 innings for LA in the postseason. MORE: Must-see NLCS photos — Game 5 is obviously more important for the Cubs because the pressure of having to win two games at home to reach the franchise’s first World Series s