2014 MLB Season Preview: Chicago Cubs

Things haven’t gone well at Wrigley recently

 

The Chicago Cubs haven’t had a winning record since 2009, and the fans are getting restless.  Last year saw an anemic offense once again, and the eventual firing of manager Dale Sveum. Rick Renteria, previously the Padres bench coach, was hired to take over in November to try to steer this club in the right direction. Not too many moves were made in the offseason, but the Cubs will still look to get to .500 and maybe into the playoff hunt if the chips fall into the right places.

Off-season transactions:

12/16 – Signed LHP Wesley Wright

12/27 – Signed RHP Jose Veras

2/13 – Signed RHP Jason Hammel

2/15 – Signed UTIL Emilio Bonifacio

The Cubs didn’t spend any big money in the offseason, instead filling out some spots with buy-low options that could turn out well for them. Jose Veras will step into the closers role, while Jason Hammel will find his way into the back end of the rotation.

C: Welington Castillo
1B: Anthony Rizzo
2B: Darwin Barney
SS: Starlin Castro
3B: Luis Valbuena
LF: Junior Lake
CF: Justin Ruggiano
RF: Nate Schierholtz

Pitching Staff:

SP: Jeff Samardzija
SP: Travis Wood
SP: Edwin Jackson
SP: Jake Arrieta
SP: Jason Hammel
CL: Jose Veras

The Cubs will likely not reach .500 this season, as the talent is just simply not there — yet. The immediate future doesn’t look good for the northsiders, but they may not be too far away from competing in the NL Central once again.

Rays, Angels, Cubs Look Strong. Red Sox, Brewers Close Behind.

With a little more than a month to go in the regular season, the Los Angeles Angels, Chicago Cubs and Tampa Bay Rays are dominating the MLB standings.  Both the Cubbies and the Rays have an excellent home game record, winning 45 of 62 home games.  The Rays have not lost a series since the All-Star break, though Oakland threatens to end that streak tonight, as the series is tied 1-1.  The Cubs are on a hot streak, winning three straight games heading into the final game of their series versus the Atlanta Braves.

The Angels, on the other hand, are doing just fine on the road, winning 38 of 59 games (the best away record in the league).  Though the Angels lost the series closer versus Seattle at home, they are on the road again tonight to play the Indians on Friday.  Considering their away record is dominant – and Cleveland is struggling for a win - you can bet the series is going to be cake for the Angels.

The Boston Red Sox and Milwaukee Brewers are not far behind in the standings, so watch out for these future series where anything can happen:

(For tickets to these games, click on the dates below)
Aug. 18, 19, and 20- Tampa Bay vs. Los Angeles Angels
Sep. 8, 9, and 10- Tampa Bay Rays @ Boston Red Sox
Sep. 15, 16, and 17- Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox
Sep. 16, 17, and 18 -  Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Sep. 26, 27,  and 28* -  Chicago Cubs @ Milwaukee Brewers

*Last day of the regular season

Remember, the 2008 baseball season is rounding third, heading for home.  Grab your tickets today before it is too late.