Despite falling off a blistering pace this last week, the Cubs fought to hold their ground. They can now proudly welcome their south side rivals with a superior 16-8 record to the White Sox's 15-11. Still, this Sox team is no collection of slouches. They have entered their competitive window, and the Cubs will now have to face some young stars entering their primes.
Coming off the equivalent of an 8.1-game losing streak (1-3 series) vs. the Brewers, the Cubs now welcome their St. Louis rivals for a 5-game series at Wrigley. Featuring two double headers and two "away" games played in their home stadium, it is likely to be an early contender for weirdest series of the year. The Cardinals begin the series an unlikely second place in the division, holding a .500 record but having played fewer than half the games the Cubs have played.
The Cubs start a 4-game home series with the second most wins and the best winning percentage in baseball. These 4 games give them a chance to add to their substantial early season lead in the division and to continue to beat up on their division rival, the Brewers.
An early season hot streak brings the 2020 Cubs to a division-leading 10-3 record as they travel to St. Louis for the first time. The Cards (2-3), meanwhile, will be playing only their 6th game of the season following a significant COVID outbreak and a 8-day layoff. The risk of contagion remains the only thing more concerning than the Cubs' bullpen.
Friday, August 7, 7:15pmCDT
CHC: LHP Jon Lester (1-0, 0.82 ERA)
STL: RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon (0-1, 6.75 ERA)
Lester has been both good and fortunate so far. The .091 BABIP certainly helps.
How 'bout this weekend? The Cubs swept the Pirates at home, including a walk-off 11th inning victory on Sunday (and some socially distanced air-fives), we saw the new extra-inning rule, and Rob Manfred warned that the season might already be over. With Manfred now anticipating the season being played to completion--and his warning described as a "bluff" by Sports Illustrated--I guess we can proceed with another series thread.
The Cubs (7-2) greet the Royals (3-7) at Wrigley for two games before heading off to Kansas City for another two. Let's call it a 4-game series? Can the starting rotation continue to lead the way? Cubs pitchers will need to dodge blasts from old friend Jorge Soler.
With the finale in Cincinnati rained out, the Cubs gather their things and head home to take on the Pirates. The Cubs come into the series atop the division with a 4-2 lead. The Pirates, meanwhile, bring up the rear with the Cincinnati Reds, both at 2-4.