A few numbers to keep you occupied (and happy)
As we wait anxiously for Jason Marquis to dominate Ben Sheets in a Hall of Fame (snicker) match-up, I thought I'd mention a few fun facts that you might not be aware of right now.
First: with a 91-58 record, the Cubs are percentage points away from having the best record in all of baseball. They only trail the 92-58 Los Anaheim Angels. One key difference between the two teams: the combined winning percentage of non-Angel teams in the AL west is .447. The combined winning percentage of non-Cub teams in the NL Central is .496. And that's obviously because of the craptacular Reds and Pirates.
With 12 (or 13) games remaining this year, if the Cubs went 0-for-the-season, the Brewers would have to go 8-3 just to tie them for the division.
At this point, I think we should refrain from even really talking about it, but the Cubs would need to go 9-4 against a pretty tough schedule to ... well, you know. ::cough::win100::cough::
One thing I've learned is that baseball is not surprisingly predictable, but it is predictably surprising. With that in mind, I'm going to lay out the next month for you.
1. The Cubs will finish the year 99-61. Why? This is a great tease for Cub fans who will debate for years if they could have/should have won 100. But, ultimately, it won't matter.
2. The first round opponents will be the Dodgers. Why? Because LA have played good, hard baseball against the Cubs all year long and it will be a scary series. Especially since Manny Ramirez has been a force of nature since he was acquired from Boston.
3. Second round team - the Mets. Why? New York has a storied history with the Cubs and it will drive Ron Santo to the brink of panic.
4. World Series opponent - Tampa Bay Rays. Now I'm really reaching, but with home field advantage, it is only fitting that the Cubs would play a team that swept them.
I could very well be wrong about all of these, but I suspect I won't be. Obviously, only time will tell. But, all that said, I now feel very confident that this Cubs team has the ability to go all the way. I hope you do, too.