2016 National League Division Series: Cubs Under Pressure
2016 National League Division Series: Chicago vs. San Francisco
I suppose nobody is surprised that the Giants won, given that (a) Madison Bumgarner pitched and (b) it’s an even year. They face the Chicago Cubs, the best team in baseball’s regular season.
As shown over 108 years, nothing is guaranteed for the Cubbies. Furthermore, regular season wins are not transferrable, especially for this team. The whole season has built to this point: the put-up-or-shut-up October for the Cubs. If they fail, folks will say “big surprise, they choked again.” The hard part is making people believe in them, and the only way to do it is win.
While the storyline will be about the Cubs and their century of misery, the Giants are here, too. They are trying to win their fourth World Series since 2010; they are a legitimate dynasty, even if only in even-numbered years. We know about Madison Bumgarner, but Johnny Cueto is good, too.
No starters on the Giants have a .300 batting average, but they feature consistency. As in, they consistently don’t hit homers (except for that one against the Mets) and they consistently hit for average. Buster Posey and Hunter Pence are amongst the team’s best hitters.
To win, San Francisco needs two, maybe three total flawless games from Bumgarner and Cueto. Chicago simply has to do what they’ve been doing all year long, but it’s never that easy for the Cubbies, is it?