Thursday, May 19, 2005

FROM THE RED STATES

Ok, I know I picked the Cubs and the Cardinals to square off in the NLCS this year, and the Cubs as of right now do not look too good. However, I am not backing off my prediction just yet, and here is why...

First of all, this is still only May, and the Cubs are just 6 back after the Cardinals losing 2 out of 3 to a team not in their own division. I think the Cardinals are highly over rated right now. Rolen is out for atleast a month, Edmonds has yet to go on one of his patented hot streaks, and Walker is really finding the world a little different outside of Coors Field. 80% of our wins are against teams with losing records. We have basically gotten fat against the Reds, Pirates, Brewers. Against the rest of the league were under .500. We split with the Cubs, lost 2 out of 3 to the Braves, lost 4 out of 6 to the hapless Phillies, lost 3 out of 4 to the Padres, but did manage to win 3 out of 4 against the Dodgers, and 2 out 3 against the Mets. Forgive me, but with this resume I think I will wait to start printing the World Series tickets. Schedules even out over the course of the season, well atleast somewhat. The Cubs will have their chance to get fat against the Reds, and Pirates. Scheduling is why I doubt the wild card will come from the East. The NL East is far superior than that of the Central, and having to play 18 or 19 games against the Marlins or the Braves, the Mets are improved, compared to the Cubs playing those same 18 or 19 games against the Reds, Pirates, and Brewers. It's a huge advantage for the team in the Central that doesn't win the division.

I am not too sure the Cardinals will win this division. The offense is inconsistent, other than Pujols and really Grudzielanek. I am not sold on our starters yet either. Mulder might be challenging Wood for the most over rated pitcher in the NL right now. I've seen him pitch twice now and got shelled against the Braves and Mets. While shutting down the Astros, Pirates a few times, neither of those offenses strike fear in the eyes of NL pitchers.

Cheer up Cub fans, remember at the end of May last season the Cards were 23-24 and trailed the Reds by 2 games. Remember it is only May, Wood will be back soon, and the Cubs and Cardinals still play each other 17 more times if I am not mistaken. This deal is a long way from over.