NLCS Preview

Chicago Cubs vs New York Mets TBS

The Chicago Cubs have all the momentum coming into this series. Before losing to St. Louis on October 9th, the last time the Cubs lost was back on September 26th. That was also the last time they lost two in a row.

Watching the game on last Monday, someone asked me why am I giving the Blue Jays so much love offensively but not the Cubs? Well, for the season, the Cubs ranked #16 in runs scored per game (4.25) while the Blue Jays ranked #1 (5.50).

2015 MLB Runs per game

As this article below defends me, the Cubs offense for much of the 1st half of the season always had trouble scoring runs. It was not until they promoted Kyle Schwarber, Kris Bryant, and Addison Russell to the majors that the offense took off. More on why 2nd half stats are important shortly. Unfortunately the loss of Addison Russell hurts the Cubs offensively and defensively.


Cubs Offense Concern 1st Half of season, now a strength

Pitching wise: Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta. These are simply the reasons why the Cubs are where they are and they need both to step up in order to take them where they want to go.

About that bullpen and my term for it #bullpenroulette. Maybe one Pedro Strop is reading my blogs.

On a serious note, he certainly shut me up last Monday and Tuesday. Good for him. Still the term sticks because while Trevor Cahill pitched fantastic in game 3, he blew the save in game 4. The #bullpenroulette term sticks with me and they win despite that. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it so I will keep saying it.

The Cubs will win if: The offense continues on the tear that it is currently on, Lester and Arrieta pitch like they are capable of pitching, and the bullpen limits the amount of mistakes they give to the other team.

The Cubs will lose if: They stop hitting, and begin to pitch poorly obviously. Also, the bullpen is key in this series. The Cubs will get good pitching from its starters and I doubt they will be shut down again like John Lackey did in game 1 of the NLDS. Joe Maddon obviously can trust Trevor Cahill and Travis Wood which is why they were used so heavily in the NLDS. Unfortunately this is a 7 game series and you can’t keep going to the same well and expect the same results. Others will need to step up. It would be a shame if the bullpen is what keeps this team from a birth.

For the New York Mets, much will be said about losing the season series 7-0 vs the Cubs. Don’t let that stat fool you. Both teams played before the trade deadline as mentioned in this article.

Mets Season Series vs Cubs

Only 4 players in the current Mets lineup played against the Cubs in their head to head series.

David Wright, Yoenis Cespedes, Travis d’Arnaud and Michael Conforto are now in the current lineup for the Mets.

And let’s talk about Cespedes for a moment. Much has been said about the Cubs callups but since the July 31st trade deadline, this player has completely changed the face of the offense for the Mets.

The Mets pitching has also been a strength. All of their starters are legit which includes Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Matt Harvey.

On average good pitching stops good hitting. Mets top to bottom have the better pitching. We shall see.

The Mets will win if: Cespedes and the Mets offense can win in multiple ways, out-slugging Chicago and outplaying Chicago in small ball. Also, the Mets win if their pitching grows up before our eyes.

The Mets will lose if: That highly touted great pitching the Mets have can’t stop the offensive zone the Cubs are in.

Verdict: Would I like to see the Cubs win their first trip to the World Series since 1945? Yes. Am I all into the aura that is from the movie Back to the Future, the 19:08 military start time of the NLDS, and any other coincidence that could prove the stars are aligning to make this happen? No. Just not that superstitious.

Like the ALCS, these teams are very even which makes it hard on who to pick, but also makes for exciting baseball which so far has exceeded expectations.

I still do not trust the Cubs bullpen. Hey, if they prove me wrong again, then props. Til then this is a toss-up and I think the Mets just have a little bit more consistency.  The Mets-Dodgers series was also the only series I was wrong about in these playoffs. Hopefully my Cubs friends won’t get upset for me picking this.

Mets in 7


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