With the Chicago Cubs matchup for the NLDS set, we wanted to look at some of the numbers of the Cubs and the San Francisco Giants. Which team is the one of destiny? The Cubs? Or the Giants and their “even year” dominance?
The wait is over. The Chicago Cubs know their opponent for Friday night. The San Francisco Giants defeated the New York Mets, bring an array of opinion on who the fans would have rather won. Some wanted another shot at the Mets after last season. Some older fans are just tired of seeing the Mets (thanks 1969), and wanted no part of them. And then there’s the legitimate..fear?…of this even year streak the Giants are on.
Believe it or not, the Cubs are eighth all-time in World Series appearances. They haven’t been since 1945, and they’re still No. 8. Unfortunately, the have the worst record (2-8, .200) of any team that’s made it to the World Series.
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The Giants are second all-time, but that includes their time in Brooklyn as well. The Giants have made 20 appearances, and more frighteningly have won their last three. Overall they’ve gone 8-12 in the World Series. But 2010, 2012, and 2014 have been good to them. Here we are, 2016. Are the Cubs still the “team of destiny”? Or is the even year thing something to be concerned about?
A few things to be concerned about–or not–when looking at the Giants. Madison Bumgarner is a pitcher the Cubs should be worried about, sort of. In his two Wild Card games, he’s gone the distance each time, posting a shutout in both. In the World Series, he’s 4-1 with an astounding 0.25 ERA and a save. And he did much of that damage in 2014 against the Royals. But we aren’t in the Wild Card or the World Series. This is the NLDS, and things change for Bumgarner there.
A different story in the NLDS
In three NLDS games, he’s 1-2 with a 4.15 ERA. This season, the Cubs were 4-3 against the Giants. More impressive? They posted a 1.94 ERA in seven games against the Giants. And the fact is that Bumgarner will unlikely pitch more than just a game, unless he lobbies hard for a second start–if necessary.
The talk has been how tough a matchup the Giants would be for the Cubs. Truth is, ANY matchup was going to be difficult. You’ve got Sports Illustrated putting you on the cover. Betting sites are getting heavy action on the Cubs. The target is there. For a team that hasn’t won in 107 years, a lot of teams want to beat the Cubs.
You’ve got the two best ERA’s in the National League in Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester. Jake Arrieta is still a force to be reckoned with. And this offense had a year to “learn” how to handle playoff baseball. Of course it’s going to be tough. And the Cubs will have the chance to beat the previous champion. To be the best? You know the rest.