Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hey, the Cubs Play Soon!

Remember the Cubs? It seems like forever since they have played a game. It really hasn't been long, just a little while since you cared what the outcome was. Plenty more Cubs content to come, but here's a quick preview of the series. Check out some position match-ups over at Top Ten Chicago Sports.

Why the Cubs will win:

The Cubs have the pitching to win this series. You can dig into the numbers all you want, but since Lou had a chance to set the rotation, things fall in place well for Chicago. Dempster has been unreal at Wrigley this year and I think anyone would want Harden and Lilly as the two guys trying to steal wins on the road. Then you have Big Z. Call him unpredictable if you want, but everyone knows the Cubs will get all he has on the mound in game two.

This lineup is also more than capable of getting the job done against LA. The Dodgers have great pitching as well, but after last season's playoff performance, these guys have something to prove. With the improvement the Cubs showed in taking pitches this season, we'll be seeing a lot of the Dodger pen.

Add in the playoff experience for Chicago as another positive. Even though it was just three games, almost every player on the team has a taste of postseason ball. Against a lot of right handed pitching we'll be seeing a ton of Jim Edmonds this series. You don't get much more experienced in the playoffs than Edmonds.

The Dodgers don't strike fear in their opponents, especially not the Cubs coming in with the kind of season they have put together. They're a great team, don't get me wrong, but the intimidation factor is zero. Check that, the intimidation factor is Manny (more on that in a bit).

Why the Dodgers will win:

The Dodger's starting pitching has the best ERA in the NL. Sure, there is no Brad Penny, but Derek Lowe chucked a .59 ERA in September, while Billingsley and Koruda (the game two and three starters) were solid as well. If the Cubs pitching falters, the Dodgers have the firepower on the mound to take advantage.

Manny Manny Manny. Manny Ramirez is the most likely guy in the playoffs to carry his team to a series win.

I can't possibly go on in this half of the segment as long as the positives for the Cubs. Suffice it to say they have good starting pitching, Manny, a solid pen, and the experience of Joe Torre running the show.

What does it all mean?

Nothing really. It's postseason baseball. It's the Cubs. Anything can happen, but I think this one looks good for the Cubbies. Sure LA is good in some aspects of the game, but I think the Cubs are clearly better. The opening game of the series is gigantic tomorrow night, but the Cubs pitching just stacks up too well for them to drop this thing. Right? We'll see. Cubs in 4.

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