It is still early in the season, and anything can ultimately happen, but this series against the St. Louis Cardinals could be the most important one of the year. Winning this series could be the turning point for the better, or for the worse for the Chicago Cubs.
St. Louis is currently atop the division again after almost a month and a half into the season. They started out struggling with Albert Pujols playing like an average player, Matt Holliday missing time due to an appendectomy, and losing their ace, Adam Wainwright, for the entire season. Yet they still have found a way to win.
For as long as their existence, the Cardinals have been the Cubs’ biggest rivals in the MLB. Every series that these two teams meet are intense and hard fought battles. The Cardinals always seem to be vying for the division crown, and for the Cubs, beating them is very important both in standings and momentum.
If the Cubs can pull off a series win against the Cardinals, they gain a lot of confidence that just might put enough belief in them to put a real winning streak together. By winning the series, it also might put a damper in the rest of the division by showing them that the Cubs can beat a good team and are here to stay.
The first game of the series is going to be quite a pitching match-up. Carlos Zambrano is going to go against Chris Carpenter. Zambrano has been successful this year, and has had help from his offense. If the Cubs are going to take game one, they are going to need that offense come to life off an excellent pitcher.
Zambrano is also going to have to limit the strong offense of the Cardinals behind the surprising Lance Berkman. Everybody thought that Berkman was on the decline after struggling so mightily last year. He must have visited the fountain of youth in the offseason, as he is putting up MVP type numbers to begin the year.
Its going to be a hot and humid night tonight at Wrigley Field, so look for the ball to be jumping off the bats and into the stands. Let’s just hope that it is off the bats of Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Pena and Aramis Ramirez.