Category Archives: Chicago Cubs

What does 2016 hold for the Chicago Cubs?

Now that the dust has settled, 2015 will be largely seen as a successful season for the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs got to the NLCS game where they were beaten by New York Mets to deny them the opportunity to take part in the World Series and face Kansas City Royals for the biggest prize in baseball.

The Cubs could only finish third in the NL Central as a moderate record of 97-65 was only good enough to pick up one of the wild card spots for the post-season.

Despite an average result season record, manager Joe Maddon will be particularly pleased with the form his players showed in the post-season under the pressure of knockout baseball. They were able to win on the road against Pittsburgh Pirates to earn a spot in one of the National League series where they then overcame number two seeds Los Angeles Dodgers after holding their nerve to edge that series 3-2.

The Cubs’ run in the post-season fell short as they were comprehensively beaten by the Mets 4-0 in a short series which put an end to their season. It is the first time the Mets have contested the World Series since 2000 but they are at the time of writing 3/1 with 32Red Canada to win the championship after losing the opening two games of the series.

The focus now for Maddon and his players will be how they can improve for 2016. They will be aiming to better the 97-65 record which was only good enough to be the number five seeds in the National League. The NL Central is arguably the strongest league in the MLB at the moment so it won’t be easy trying to top the five team league that also includes St Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates.

Maddon joined the Cubs in the off-season and he took over a young roster which has really grown with experience as the year progressed. They are likely to be near the top end of the betting with 32Red for the 2016 Championship as there is a lot of young talent in the ranks which will only get better over the next couple of years.

David Price on the radar for Maddon
 by  apardavila 

The priority for Maddon in the off-season will be to find a starting pitcher to improve his roster. Jake Arrieta has a superb post-season and was one of the key reasons as to why the Cubs advanced as far as they did with victories over the Pirates and Dodgers where they were underdogs in both ties with Pinnacle Sports. There is not much depth for Maddon to call upon to be able to rotate throughout the 2016 season if they are to be strong enough to go all the way.

Jon Lester put pen-to-paper on a deal to make him their highest paid pitcher last year but beyond that there really isn’t enough quality.

If Maddon can find a reliable pitcher, with the Toronto Blue Jays’ David Price rumoured to be on his wish-list, they could have enough in their ranks to really fancy going all the way in the 2016 championship.

Dexter Fowler’s future could lie elsewhere

by  Keith Allison 


Dexter Fowler was a part of a trade back in January which saw the big hitter join the Cubs from Houston Astros, with Luis Valbuena and Dan Straily going in the opposite direction. That bit of business looks to have paid off as Fowler finished the campaign with a .250 average and scored 102 runs. He particularly stood out in the off-season against the Pirates in the wildcard game where he recorded three hits, scored three runs, had one RBI and stole a base.

There have been some suggestions that Fowler could leave Chicago ahead of the 2016 season which would be a blow. If he does leave, Maddon will need a capable replacement.

Maddon has looked to bring in players of a certain age so expect a replacement to be in their mid-20s. Jason Heyward has been linked with the Cubs and would be a solid replacement. Not only is he a solid hitter with stats to back that up, he is very good fielder with a strong arm.

With one or two strong signings in the off-season, the Cubs could be one of the favourites in the betting for the 2016 World Series with TitanBet and other bookmakers when they bid for their first championship since 1908.

Chicago Cubs move on to the NLCS


[Box Score]

It’s hard to believe this was the first time the Cubs have clinched a postseason series on Wrigley Field soil in their history. It’s hard to believe that Fernando Rodney and Clayton Richard got holds. I thought the Cubs were in trouble when Travis Wood was on in relief before the fifth frame was completed.

But the Cubs have such star power, and in our opinion their brightest start got the biggest hit.

Anthony Rizzo, with the death blow. It’s nearly a carbon copy of last night’s home run:

Monster home run from forgotten man Javier Baez that swung the entire momentum of the game, while you were driving home from work. Kyle Schwarber with the exclamation point home run that left Wrigley.

Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon were electric in the 8th and 9th. The energy at Wrigley Field was absolutely incredible. This is a team worthy of watching in the NLCS, and they’ve now knocked off the team with the best record in baseball. This is the beginning of a long and glorious run for the Cubs, and it’s good for baseball.



No matter what happens from here, Cubs fans will always have this one night at Wrigley Field. And holy Hell, was that as fun as it looked or what?

The top six players in the Cubs lineup (Fowler, Soler, Bryant, Rizzo, Castro) all hit pretty tremendous home runs deep into the Chicago night. The wind was blowing out, and the Cubs powered past those evil rotten Redbirds from St. Louis 8-6.

Our favorite was definitely the Anthony Rizzo bomb; his first hit in the playoffs:

Sure, the Cardinals hung four runs on Jake Arrieta which is impressive in it’s own right. But Arrieta was nasty enough to strike out nine and get the Cubbies in control of this series.

Tomorrow at 4:37 eastern time when the sun is still in the sky; some late afternoon baseball will against be played at splendid Wrigley Field. We are really hoping this series wraps up tomorrow night and the Cubbies roll onward. Maybe Back to the Future was right all those years ago.

There’s baseball at Wrigley Field Today


One of the most magical days of my life was when I visited Wrigley Field in Chicago. It was an absolutely, picture perfect day from start to finish. That day, we decided that it was one of the most magical places not only in baseball but in all of the world. That day, we decided that the Cubs were not an NL Central evil, but rather something that should be treasured by those who love baseball.

Today, playoff baseball returns to Wrigley Field. It’s the first time since October 2nd, 2008 when the Cubs lost to the Dodgers 10-3. That team was built around Alfonso Soriano, Ryan Theriot, Derek Lee, and Aramis Ramirez. Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano started the first two games of that series. Good old Rich Harden took the loss in game three of that LDS series and the Cubs were swept. This team has a bit better foundation. We knew they would win the other night to ensure at least two games at Wrigley Field.

Tonight at 6:07 PM EST has the makings of a classic: the best pitcher in baseball at the moment Jake Arrieta takes the bump opposing Michael Wacha who is always solid in his own right. The Cubs have a golden opportunity to take control of this series and really as a -210 Vegas odds favorite, something weird is going to have to happen for them not to do so.

And we love it. There’s nothing more boring than the Cardinals grinding out 2-0 wins in the playoffs. It makes us want to move on to another sport. These Cubs however; they’re a breath of fresh air. They’re something new. And it would be good for the sport the longer these guys are alive in the playoffs and that huge market and their rabid fans get to live out the hopes of lifting the curse of the Billygoat and Steve Bartman!

So toast your 312 ale! We’re pulling for the Cubs to do this.

Betting on Baseball Saturday 10/10

A real wiseguy, Jimmy the Greek
A real wiseguy, Jimmy the Greek

Anyone looking for today’s casino bonuses will realize that they can grab the Chicago Cubs as a nice underdog this afternoon in St. Louis. The Cubbies are a +122 underdog currently at the Las Vegas Westgate for instance, with Kyle Hendricks opposing lefty Jaime Garcia.

The Cardinals Cardinal’d the shit out of the Cubs last night. That’s what the Cardinals do. They get home runs from Tommy Pham and great pitching performances from guys like John Lackey who was pumping 95 MPH gas and getting strike calls several inches off the plate. When those things are happening, the public is going to get slaughtered (Jon Lester probably had a huge public backing) and the casino’s and sportsbooks will absolutely slaughter you.

But DO NOT be swayed by all this. The Cubs are a good team. On name recognition sure, more people are going to know 10-6 Jaime Garcia and his 2.43 ERA. Kyle Kendricks is a solid 25-year old pitcher in his own right who has not allowed more than three earned runs in any of his last three starts. Meanwhile, Garcia has allowed four or greater earned runs in three of his last four.

This series is going to get evened up today. The Cubs have a lineup with lefties who OPS at a .772 clip against left handed pitching. They can get to Garcia tonight in St. Louis, and they’ll do just enough to get this series to Wrigley all tied up.

It’s hard to believe in all this time, the Cubs and Cardinals met for the first time in the playoffs last evening in their history! I would have missed that trivia question.

Our pick is the Chicago Cubs +122 on the moneyline. Go with the Cubs and make it a winning day.

Go Cubs Go


It’s a Friday night in October. We have nowhere to be, and nowhere to go. The Cubs are playing playoff baseball, tonight against those rotten Redbirds. The only thing that could make this one more picture perfect is if Harry Caray and Bill Murray were toasting at Wrigley Field. Or if the game was being played at Wrigley at all.

The Cubbies think a changing of the guard is taking place in the National League Central. We certainly think they’re the more talented team on paper.

There’s just something that scares us about the Cardinals. They’re pesky. They’ve never needed to be good ‘on paper’ to go to a World Series and ruin an entire October of playoff baseball. They can take over the entire world with Thomas Pham and a can opener.

Just like tonight; it will be a dogfight and probably even a loss for the Cubs. You’ve got John Lackey opposing Jon Lester. Lester is nails in the playoffs. Everything should line up for the Cubs to take game one and get at minimum a sweep or two playoff games at beautiful Wrigley.

Yet we know how this works out for the Cardinals and this time of year. And their Cardinal way bullshit. The Cubs are our playoff horse and we hope they can give us something to really pull for into the next round. Lets end that curse of the Billy Goat together.

The Chicago Cubs are in the Postseason


Here’s something that is good for baseball: the Chicago Cubs will be part of the MLB postseason. The Cubs are in the playoffs for the first time since way back when we basically started this blog, 2008.

The Cubs got in the playoffs even losing yesterday with the Giants losing to the Oakland Athletics. And this is great, because really I could not stand another year of the Giants getting their boring roster group into October and forcing me to watch three series of it.

The Cubbies are going to be our playoff horse we think. We would still really like to see the Angels weasel in in the American League. But overall, this is really good for baseball and we felt from the onset of the year that the Cubs would be left standing when the dust settled.

Now you just have to hope they get through the Wildcard game (sorry Pirates fans) and bring a long series or two to that historic cathedral Wrigley Field. It would be fun to watch this young group of players try to break the curse of the Billy Goat. Plus, Anthony Rizzo.


Anthony Rizzo is my National League MVP

I’ve seen enough. Anthony Rizzo deserves to be the National League’s Most Valuable Player.

This afternoon he and the Cubbies kicked off the holiday weekend in the best way possible, crushing a moonshot grand slam to right field with the bleachers full in a big 14-5 win over the DiamondBacks.

The numbers are there: 28 home runs, 83 RBI, 15 stolen bases, a .285 average and .927 OPS. The Cubs are entrenched firmly in the second wild-card spot, 7.5 games up on the Giants (thank goodness). Today’s win was their 76th  of the season.

Rizzo has been the best lynchpin on the best team in the race. I cannot think of another guy (Harper and Goldschmidt need to be omitted because their teams simply aren’t in it) whose team would be more affected without him. Rizzo is just the guy who stands out to me in the middle of it all, and his 5.6 bWAR is right in line with that (he could very easily finish around seven).

He’s hitting afternoon grand slams at Wrigley, handing out orange slices to teammates, buying pizza for fans; the guy is just doing it all right now.

Harper has been still spectacular but many measures, but has been pretty quiet the last several weeks and has been pitched around to no fault of his own. Goldschmidt is a monster – everyone knows this – but over his last 18 games is hitting .214 for the .481 DiamondBacks.

We often don’t talk enough about a guy like Rizzo, but he’s quietly been a really special part of a great Chicago Cubs season. It’s one of the best stories in baseball right now and he’s got our vote.

Cole Hamels threw a no-hitter Gem at Wrigley Field this afternoon


Cole Hamels possible final Phillies appearance was a legendary one.

A Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field was the setting. He racked up 13 strikeouts in a no-hitter (he issued two walks) and a 5-0 Phillies win.

The latest reports have him in a flurry of trade rumors around baseball. If this was his last start as a Phillie; he’s sure to have given them a parting gift that Phillies fans will remember for life. It’s a special thing when a no-hitter comes to us all on a Saturday afternoon in the middle of the summer, especially at such a legendary ballpark.

Unfortunately, I didn’t see any of this. I was on daddy duty from 9 AM to 6 PM and Disney Junior graced my television screen. When I saw what Hamels had done, I had to get this post up.

Jay Bruce turns a Reds loss into a Reds win at Wrigley with his glove

Jay Bruce isn’t helping the Reds win games with his bat (currently hitting .218). He took one directly out of the loss column and put it in the win column to kick off the weekend at Wrigley Field yesterday with this play above. The Reds won the game 5-4.

It is so nice to see in a lost season; a guy going all out on a play where it would have been easier to call it a day. There’s nothing worse than when you aren’t hitting and you have to go out and play defense. Jay Bruce showed he’s playing with pride right now with this play.


Bryce Harper touches up Jason Hammel on a Saturday Afternoon in DC

It seemed like it had been a little while since Bryce Harper homered in a game – in actuality it had only been about seven games played. He’s still killing the ball, hitting over .330 playing every day. Today, Jason Hammel had his ‘A’ game and carried his start into the ninth inning at Nationals Park in DC.

The only other run in the game for the Nats to that point was a towering home run by Wilson ‘The Buffalo’ Ramos.

Harper led off the ninth inning and cut the lead in half, getting one out backside into the bullpen off Hammel and knocking him out of the game.

The Nationals lost the game 4-2. The Cubs have given them a run for their money this series. But Bryce Harper’s magical season rolled onward, with his 19th home run and an OPS that now sits at 1.192.

Bryce Harper’s Thunderous Opposite Field Home Run off Jon Lester at Wrigley Field


[Nationals 3, Cubs 0]

It was announced on Wednesday that Bryce Harper was the leading vote-getter in the National league for the first update of All-Star voting. On Wednesday night at Wrigley Field off Jon Lester, he hit his National League leading 18th home run of the season.

It was a shot to the opposite field that didn’t need wind, just like Harper said when the series started. It was his 18th home run of the 2015 season, this time he was the one tying Nelson Cruz (who earlier in the afternoon hit his 18th of the season as well) – how many times have these two guys homered on the same day this year?

We continue to marvel at the power Bryce Harper has to the opposite field. He’s now on pace for 62 home runs on the season.

Bryce Harper does not need the Wrigley Field Gail Force Wind; but it doesn’t hurt


[Box Score]

Bryce Harper said before yesterday’s Memorial Day afternoon match-up that with power like his, he didn’t need the 20-plus MPH winds that were being forecasted at Wrigley Field.

Winds were flying out at about 17 MPH on Tuesday night, when Harper came to bat against Kyle Hendricks who held a 1-0 lead. Harper gets a ball in the air with some backspin, it looks like your garden-variety pop out; and Harper shucks his bat aside in disgust. Except, look at Coghlan the left-fielder. He just keeps drifting and the ball keeps going.

It lands in the bleachers for Harper’s 17th home run of the season and 12th in May. It is referred to as a ‘towering home run’ by the guys doing the play by play.

This tied the game at 1-1, and the Nationals would add one on a Denard Span home run to make it 2-1. And then Kris Bryant hit one out to tie the game. From there, Addison Russell would win it in the bottom of the ninth with a gapper. Nice little ballgame with a couple homers from the young stars.