The Giants are in a familiar role–underdogs. The Cubs are, deservedly, heavy favorites. One line says +160 for San Francisco (a $100 bet nets $160) and -180 for Chicago (you'd have to lay down $180 to win $100). If, like me, you prefer the traditional odds, I've seen the Cubs listed at 11/10 for the LDS and 9/5 for the Series. On paper, it's a mismatch. The Cubs are loaded–they score the most runs (4.99/g) in the NL field and yield the fewest (3.43/g). You win 103 games you're a good team–the best in the league. It's been a great year for them, they've kicked ass all season and played .685 ball (that's right, .685, 50-23) since the Break. They had one bad month, July, when they went 12-14. That's some scary competition!
The Giants find themselves in a bit of an unfamiliar role, too, that of “bad guy.” The nation wants the Cubs to win. Cubs fans, of course, are beyond hungry for a title (we can certainly grok that), and their club is obviously the sentimental favorite. Casual fans are rooting for the Wrigley-ites. Many of the Giants fans I know (as well as many of the Dodgers fans I know) have been telling me “I'm rooting naturally for my club but if they don't make it I'll pull for Chicago.” Fair enough. I'd love to see teams like the Indians and Cubs finally break through. Just not at the expense of the Giants! If the Giants do bump off the lovable Cubbies you can bet the “Giants? Again?” memes will emerge and people will root for the other guys, whoever they are. But that's OK. I always wanted to root for that team that everyone is sick of because they win too damn much!
But we've a ways to go. Right now it is Día de Cueto (don't laugh I saw #DiaDeCueto right alongside #BeliEVEN) and that's what we have to focus on. A good start by JohnnyC tonight and the Giants could put a chink in the Cubs armor. The nice thing about October and the playoffs is that the regular season is irrelevant. The margins between the teams are much smaller and the short-series format means upsets are likely. Anything can happen if you play good ball. So we are counting on our boys to play well, like they have been, and counting on Boch to push the right buttons.
I'm ready. I'm stoked. Hope you are too. First pitch 6:15 pm PDT.