Two teams led by young talent. Two teams seeking to end World Series droughts. Only one can move on. Either the Chicago Cubs or the New York Mets will represent the National League in the World Series. Both clubs were said to have had the talent to get here…but not until next year.
Chicago: After dismantling the Pirates in the Wild Card round, the Cubbies downed St. Louis in four games. This was their first ever playoff series clinching victory at Wrigley Field. Jake Arrieta has been the man for Chicago. He hasn’t lost a game since July 25th, and that loss wasn’t even on him, as Cole Hamels tossed a no-hitter that day. Aside from Arrieta, Jon Lester will bring the heat against the Mets. He pitched seven and a third innings against St. Louis and struck out nine batters.
Then there’s the hitting. Phenom Kris Bryant has been in a rut during the post-season. Bryant is only batting .150 with 20 AB. Anthony Rizzo, Dexter Fowler, Kyle Schwarber, and Jorge Soler all have at least two homers this October. Schwarber leading the team with three. We’re still waiting to find out if the jack he hit in Pittsburgh has landed.
If the Cubs are going to advance, Arrieta and Lester are going to have to keep the Mets off base, and the big bats are going to have to bring it against the vaunted pitching staff in New York.
New York: The Mets are loaded with young pitching talent. Matt Harvey didn’t look like vintage Matt Harvey in his one start against the Dodgers. He gave up seven hits and two runs in just five innings, but he also struck out seven batters. Jacob deGrom looks like the Mets’ ace right now. In just two starts this post-season, he has 20 strike outs and just four walks, while just giving up just two runs. They’re going to need him to go deep into games against Chicago if they’re going to have a shot at winning.
The Mets bats are led by Curtis Granderson and Daniel Murphy. Granderson is batting a ridiculous .389 with five RBI through the first five games of the playoffs. Murphy has a .333 average, three homers, and five RBI. These guys have to keep it up, because the Cubs can score a lot.
Prediction: The Mets haven’t won the World Series since 1986. And we all know about the Cubs drought that started back in 1908. Both of these teams will likely end their streaks in the years to come. But it’s the Cubs that are playing the best baseball since the All-Star break. Arrieta and Lester will match Harvey and deGrom. While the home runs will continue from Schwarber and company. Cubs 4-2.