The long awaited match up is here, Tampa Bay vs Chicago. While most of us are busy finalizing their Christmas shopping and going to lewd drunken social events (ooh wait that sounds like fun), one of us at least having been analyzing the data. On the surface it looks like a David vs Goliath series, looking at from different aspects, it still is.
We must congratulate the Rays as they failed to make the big show at just about every other seed in recent seasons. This is the Cubs first time since they won back to back titles in seasons 7 and 8.
The Cubs look like a monolithic Goliath and they are. Suzuki, Cook and Chatwood would make the Yankee greats tremble in real life. The Cubs defense was tops in the NL so don't expect fumble fingers to ignite subversive rallies. Pitching by the numbers look great but how much is because of the great offense? Nigel Li is the player to look out for in my books. And a big fact that Willie isn't broken. Cue the goat however.
The Rays on the other hand don't look as impressive in the numbers game. They spread out the long ball which could be taxing against the Cubs pitching staff. The defense is highly adequate. Believe it or not, the Rays pitching staff might be better overall. Though Shaggy should stay in the Mystery Machine keeping up with the munchies for the games. Randall Frederick is the player to watch as he might be the MVP of the series.
Don't expect a sweep this season like last as the Cubs don't like playing in Florida. That could be their downfall especially if the Rays can garner a split in the first two games. My best take on this series is the Cubs in 5 or 6, the Rays in 7.