If the D-backs win: Who starts Game 4? Game 1 starter Taijuan Walker lasted just one inning after giving up four runs. Zack Godley relieved him and threw 100 pitches in relief over five innings. So that would likely point to Patrick Corbin, since Walker’s start may still be too fresh in Torey Lovullo’s mind. Corbin had a weird year, pitching much better at home even though Chase Field is a good hitters’ park. He had a 3.15 ERA there and allowed just seven of his 26 home runs at home. One-year home/road splits are tricky, but Lovullo probably goes with Corbin if the D-backs remain alive.
If the Dodgers win: They sweep and head to their fifth National League Championship Series in 10 years. They’ll get to line up Clayton Kershaw in Game 1, which wasn’t the case in either 2013 or 2016 (he started Game 2 both years).
With that in mind, look for Cubs manager Joe Maddon to stack his lineup again with lefties, which probably means Jon Jay and Ben Zobrist at second base (or maybe he gives Ian Happ a start). Note the Cubs are carrying 14 position players, so that also gives Maddon more flexibility off the bench in case Baker brings in one of his lefty relievers.
The prediction: Arrieta is a bit of an unknown with his health, but this could be a game in which both managers have to go to the pens early. Maddon does have John Lackey in reserve. Look for a little more offense, but the Cubs use their home-field advantage to clinch the series with a 5-4 win. Yes, another one-run loss for the Nationals.
Fertitta: This is a really well-run team. Competitively, they do whatever they can to put a good basketball team on the floor every year. It has very good management, from [CEO Tad Brown] to [general manager Daryl Morey] to the head coach to [general counsel Rafael Stone] to PR. It’s kind of weird to walk into a situation where I don’t have to make any changes.