I don’t have much to say since other sites have done good series previews, but let me give you a few facts about matchups:

Game 1: Webb vs. Zambrano

As you might expect, most Cubs hitters have struggled against Webb in their careers, but the sample sizes are pretty small.  Only Aramis Ramirez has more than 20 plate appearances against Webb, and his line is .238/.292/.381.  We’ve just gotta hope that some ground balls find holes.  As for Zambrano, he’s faced very few of the current Diamondbacks hitters, and he’s pretty much dominated them (.500 OPS against).  If he can keep himself under control tonight, then he should be very good; there are no matchup problems.

Game 2: Davis vs. Lilly

Doug Davis has been quite effective against most of the Cubs, but there are a couple notable exceptions: Soriano is 5 for 14 with a homer off Davis, Theriot is 4 for 6, and Matt Murton is 4 for 10 with a double and two walks.  Lee has struck out 12 times in 22 at-bats against Davis, but he’s still posted a .500 SLG.  Lilly has done OK against the Diamondbacks hitters, though he has allowed a composite .455 SLG.  Tony Clark, Jeff Cirillo, and Eric Byrnes have faced Lilly more than 10 times; everyone else has only seen him in the game earlier this year.  Are we really going to worry about Jeff Cirillo?

Game 3: Hill vs. Hernandez

Like most of the matchups in this series, the Hill vs. D’Backs hitters numbers are based on a very small sample size.  That said, the numbers favor Hill, who has allowed only one homer to the current crop of Snakes while striking out 12.  Eric Byrnes has faced Hill 10 times and sports a line if .333/.400/.778 off  him, so those at-bats will be crucial.  Livan Hernandez actually has faced some of the Cubs a significant number of times, and he has not fared well: DeRosa, Floyd, and Ramirez (.962 SLG!) have all hit him really hard.

Game 4 would most likely be Z (on three days’ rest) vs. Owings.  Game 5 would be Webb vs. Lilly.  The Game 1 matchup favors the D’Backs, but not by as much as everyone seems to think.  If Zambrano is calm and on his game, he can match zeros with Webb.  Games 2 and 3 favor the Cubs.  If the Cubs can pull out a victory tonight, there’s no doubt in my mind they win this series.  If they lose, it gets a little dicier, but they still have a great chance.  Of course, they are the Cubs, so they’ll probably get swept.

The rosters were announced, and Kevin Hart made the cut!  I think this is a good move.  Marquis will be coming out of the bullpen, and Ronny Cedeño will unfortunately be on the bench.