Cheer up guys, it's Monday!
Although we've not made it to the all star break yet, we're officially into the second half of the season, as 82 games have been played with 80 to go.
Some things to be happy about:
- We're 3-0 in the last three series against arguably some of the best talent the American League has to offer. I may be giving too many props to the Rangers there, but they can be devastating against teams who don't produce runs when they're needed.
- We're within four games of .500 and improved to "only" 10 back of Cubs
- The schedule going into the All Star break could go in our favor
Scheduling wise, we have two positive series to potentially look forward to taking 2 of 3 from (@Pirates and @Nats), one to break even or take 3 of 4 on (Dodgers), and one to probably lose (@Braves). I'd say that's a decent schedule to work with for the next 13 games. Idealistically, I'd like to see our record at 47-48 going into the All Star break.
The Cubs are demonstrating early signs of their 2nd half collapse by not being able to break their difficulty with road games. Their last two series were against the Orioles and White Sox, which were lost 1-3 and 0-3, respectively. The Cubs are at a crossroads and need to start taking series on the roads if they want to cement their lead of the division.
I happen to think the opposite will happen, and they will start losing games at home. The law of averages, if nothing else, tells us that.
Regardless, they face the Giants on the road this week for four games, followed by the Cardinals at St. Louis. Having those two teams duke it out can only help our division standing. They finish with the Giants and Reds at Wrigley, which may be good for them, but could also call into question their Wrigley staying power if any of those home series are lost.
The Cardinals face the Mets at home, followed by the aforementioned Cubs at home, and then face the Phillies and Pirates on the road. The Phillies series should be challenging for them, the Pirates series beneficial to them, and I have no idea how if they'll be challenged by the Mets or not. In any case, their (Cards) performance should give us an insight on their sturdiness for the next couple months.
To summarize: Our scheduling for the next few series should only help us. The Cubs -may- move up slower in the wins column than we move up. The Cards will help keep the Cubs down (to our benefit) and coupled with Phillies contest, move up slower than we move up.
Hopefully. Maybe. With my rose-colored glasses and Pollyanna wig on.