OK. A week ago, I predicted the outcome of every game on the Cubs’ road trip to St. Louis and Cincinnati, using as my guide one thing only: the career records of the opposing teams’ hitters versus the scheduled starting pitchers. I went 6 for 6. Also, I went 3 for 4 in my predictions of the Milwaukee/St. Louis series this weekend. That makes me 9 for 10 in predictions, and it also makes me a cocky asshole. Now I will tempt fate, and predict the outcome of all seven games on the upcoming Cubs homestand.

Tonight’s game pits Cole Hamels, the Phillies’ All-Star pitcher, versus Ted Lilly. Hamels is a good young pitcher, but not against the Cubs. Lilly, on the other hand, has pretty much had his way with the Phillies; I expect a Cubs win. Tuesday night’s matchup is Adam Eaton versus Jason Marquis. Eaton has only faced a few of the Cubs, and he’s done OK against them (although Lee has two homers in 13 at-bats). Marquis has been surprisingly decent versus most of the Phillies. It’s sort of a toss-up, but I’ll go with the Phillies. Wednesday’s game pits soft-tossing lefty ex-Cub Jamie Moyer against current soft-tossing lefty Cub Rich Hill. Hill has sorta sucked–a lot–versus the current Phillies (the addition of Tadahito Iguchi, who’s 3 for 5 with two homers off of Hill, doesn’t help), while Moyer has mostly held the Cubs in check. Advantage Phils. Finally, the last game of the series is J.D. Durbin versus Sean Marshall. Durbin has never faced the Cubs, while Marshall has been OK against the Phils. Another toss-up; I’m going with Marshall and the Cubs. So I’m predicting a split of the series.

EDIT: The Phils traded for Kyle Lohse, who will get the start Thursday against Marshall.  Lohse shut the Cubs down earlier this season, but his career numbers versus Cubs hitter suggest that that was a fluke, and that the Cubs should beat him.  I’m picking the Cubs with greater confidence now.

The Mets series will kick off with Z versus El Duque. El Duque is having a good year, but he’s been not so great against the current crop of Cubs. Zambrano has been all right against the Mets, so I think the Cubs can win this one. Saturday’s game will be Lilly versus Pelfrey. Pelfrey has no history versus the Cubs, while Lilly has been a little bad versus the Mets he’s seen. I hate to do it, but I’m going to have to go with the Mets on this one. The Sunday game is Marquis versus Maine. Marquis has been just OK versus the Mets, and Maine has been pretty good versus the Cubs. Again, I hate to say it, but I think the Mets will take this one.

These matchups are, for the most part, not as cut-and-dried as the matchups on the just-completed road trip. I’m pretty confident in tonight’s game (Lilly vs. Hamels), Wednesday’s game (Hill vs. Moyer), and Friday’s game (Zambrano vs. El Duque). The two other Phillies game are toss-ups, as are the last two games versus the Mets. I don’t expect to go 7-0 on these predictions, but 5-2 is highly probable.

As for the Cubs, I think 3-4 and 4-3 are pretty much equally likely. Winning five of seven would be huge, and would lend the team some legitimacy, but it’s sort of a long shot. And the Brewers? They’re so pathetic right now that I wouldn’t be surprised if they went 2-4 on their homestand. That’d be nice.

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