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Thursday NLCS open thread

The Cubs are in win or go home mode against the Dodgers, and they are running head long into Clayton Kershaw. Well, good luck.

League Championship Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Chicago Cubs - Game Three Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The National League Championship Series could come to a close tonight. The same was true last night, but the Cubs managed to win a game and avoid a sweep at the hands of the Dodgers.

Chicago's reward for doing this is that they need to win for a second consecutive game to continue the series - only today, instead of facing Alex Wood (who, in fairness, was incredible this season) they go up against Clayton Kershaw, who hasn't had a WHIP above 1 for the past five seasons. In three of those five seasons, he had an ERA under 2! Holy mackerel. Even considering it's the NL, that's impressive.

For real, though, Kershaw has been in MLB for ten seasons now, and he has a career 2.36 ERA, with more than a batter struck out every inning and more than four strikeouts per walk. Things have not gone quite as well for him in the postseason, with a 4.57 ERA in 20 postseason appearances.

Whether it's fair to hold this against him is another discussion, but those numbers are decidedly what they are. The Cubs will be hoping that they can add fuel to a narrative critical of Kershaw in the postseason and thus prevent one of the World Series teams from being decided tonight.

Today's Lineups

Chris Taylor - CF Albert Almora - CF
Justin Turner - 3B Kyle Schwarber - LF
Cody Bellinger - 1B Kris Bryant - 3B
Yasiel Puig - RF Anthony Rizzo - 1B
Logan Forsythe - 2B Willson Contreras - C
Enrique Hernandez - LF Addison Russell - SS
Austin Barnes - C Javier Baez - 2B
Charlie Culberson - SS Ben Zobrist - RF
Clayton Kershaw - LHP Jose Quintana - LHP