Goatriders of the Apocalypse

September Song

It's become tradition now that, at the start of every new month, I take a gander at the upcoming schedule and discuss the team's chances.  If you want to see what I said about the Cubs in August, just go back to this post here, although I will summarize the important stuff for your convenience.  I wrote, "n their 28 games played, I believe the Cubs are capable of going 17-11 without breaking much of a sweat. I'd submit that if they do worse than that, even to the tune of 16-12 or 15-13, then it will be a tight race until the last day of the season. However, if the Cubs can win their 17 - and they truly should be capable of winning as many as 20 - then it might not be as much a race in September as it is a victory lap, because I don't think Milwaukee or St. Louis will be able to keep up."

Well, the Brewers have succeeded at keeping up, but the Cubs met my high water mark of 20 wins and they made it look easy.

In September, the Cubs play 25 games, and they are all important.  They play 9 games at home and 16 on the road.  Their home games include battles with Houston, Milwaukee, and St. Louis, and while the Astros and Cardinals have fallen off the pace, both teams would be division leaders in the NL West right now.  Of their 16 games on the road, the Cubs travel to Cincinnati, St, Louis, Houston, New York, and they finish the year in what may be an epic series in Milwaukee.

I'm going to predict that the Cubs could and should go 15-10, and I'm not saying that because I want them to win 100.  However, I do think that 15 wins is well within the realm of possibility, and while they also may "only" go 14-11, they could just as easily kick it up another notch and go 17-8 or even 18-7.  It's not probable, but it is possible.

Milwaukee, for comparrison's sake, have a much easier schedule and they play 16 games at home.  It very well might come down to the last series in September in order to determine if the Cubs have home field advantage, or if they are the wild card team.  I'm sure a lot of us would be nervous if the Cubs failed to win the division; I'm not really one of them.  What's important to me, above all else, is that the Cubs play very strongly in their final 10 games this season and that they enter the playoffs with momentum.  

How They Match Up

My brother called me up a few days ago and said "you know, you should do a post about the Cubs records against playoff teams."  I'm going to do that, but I will take it a step further.  

Right now, it looks like the following teams could be playoff bound: Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, and Arizona.  Here's how they are all doing against each other:

Phillies: 5-10 vs. Mets 
            4-3 vs. Cubs
            1-1 vs. Brewers
            4-4 vs. Dodgers
            4-3 vs. D-Backs
Total:     18-21

Mets:    10-5 vs. Phillies
             0-2 vs. Cubs
             1-2 vs. Brewers
             4-3 vs. Dodgers
             3-3 vs. D-Backs
Total:     18-15

Brewers: 1-1 vs. Phillies
             2-1 vs. Mets
             4-6 vs. Cubs
             2-4 vs. Dodgers
             5-1 vs. D-Backs
Total:     14-13

Dodgers: 4-4 vs. Phillies
              4-3 vs. Mets
              2-5 vs. Cubs
              4-2 vs. Brewers
              5-7 vs. D-Backs
Total:      19-21

D-Backs: 3-4 vs. Phillies
              3-3 vs. Mets
              1-5 vs. Brewers
              3-4 vs. Cubs
              7-5 vs. Dodgers
Total:       17-21

Cubs:      3-4 vs. Phillies
              2-0 vs. Mets
              6-4 vs. Brewers
              5-2 vs. Dodgers
              4-3 vs. D-Backs
Total        21-13

So, there you have it.  Based on these statistics, we don't even need the playoffs.  Let's just give the Cubs the NL crown and send them to the Series!

In all seriousness, though, despite the hard schedule, I like Chicago's chances in September.  Consider it a run through the gauntlet in preparation for the playoffs, where their experience - and success - against winning teams will be huge.   

oops

How bout eliminating starts by 4 and 5 starters?

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