St. Louis Cardinals: Halloween Frights Including the Cubs World Series

Oct 22, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; The Chicago Cubs celebrate defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in game six of the 2016 NLCS playoff baseball series at Wrigley Field. Cubs win 5-0 to advance to the World Series. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 22, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; The Chicago Cubs celebrate defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in game six of the 2016 NLCS playoff baseball series at Wrigley Field. Cubs win 5-0 to advance to the World Series. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports /

The end of October is built for frightening things like haunted houses and scary costumes.  This year’s St. Louis Cardinals fans must face the frightening reality of a Chicago Cubs World Series.

Be afraid, be very afraid, St. Louis Cardinals fans: the Chicago Cubs punched their ticket last night to the big dance that is the World Series.  Brace yourselves for the following statement: I am glad that Cubs are playing and wouldn’t mind them winning.

If you are reading this paragraph then you have stayed with me despite my pro-Cubs statement above.  Believe me, I swallowed hard when typing that statement because I feel like I’m forcing myself to believe it.  Let me say this, I only state it so the baby bears can get the pity-me curse off their shoulders and might fade back into obscurity.

Look, the Cubs are a great team put together with great amounts of money and an outstanding manager.  To my Cardinals friends, take note of the number of one-season rentals on the Cubs team and take heart that these players might not return in 2017.  These include names like Aroldis Chapman.  Also, note the to-be free agents like Dexter Fowler.

So, as terrifying as the thought it, the Chicago Cubs will play in the World Series while the St. Louis Cardinals watch from home.  The Cubs must go through almost-Cardinals-manager Terry Francona who will not go down easily.  Can the Cubs win?  Will their bats be able to handle the pitchers on the Indians staff?  Let’s examine a little.

Let’s start with how Jason Heyward has been doing.  This will make any St. Louis Cardinals fan happy, right?  Heyward, the $21.67M 2016 outfielder, isn’t performing in the postseason at a rate that would justify the money.  Have a look:

5 Yrs (6 Series)2381713312700426.
1 NLWC150110000001.200.200.400.600
4 NLDS1660511202600320.183.222.317.539
1 NLCS6162101010015.

The St. Louis Cardinals had paid him $7.8M in 2015 but Heyward wanted more money and wanted to play on a younger postseason team.  He got his wish but is experiencing a massive regression of his own.  Will Heyward make an appearance of note in the World Series?

Sticking with the Cubs, Javier Baez has made quite the name for himself this postseason.  This 23 year-old is making this name on a shoestring paycheck in direct opposition to Heyward.  Baez was paid only $521,000 in 2016 and is under team control until 2022.  Here’s a look at Baez’s stunning postseason run:

2 Yrs (4 Series)16538184021040212.340.357.528.885
2 NLDS62151000251014.476.500.7621.262
2 NLCS10323840053018.250.265.375.640

The Cubs fans should be thrilled with this and baseball fans in general should be jealous of this great player.  My guess is that Baez has a wonderful contract coming his way and the St. Louis Cardinals should make plans on how to address this bat in the coming years.

On the pitching side of things, phenom Jake Arrieta hasn’t lived up to his hype in postseason either.  Like Heyward before him, Arrieta has run into some bad luck for sure.  This top-of-the-rotation starter is arbitration-eligible in 2017 and is a free agent in 2018.  Arrieta made $10.7M in 2016.  Here’s a look at his postseason performance:

2 Yrs (5 Series)224.11530.2261445381241.011
1 NLWC100.0019.0500011320.556
2 NLDS104.63211.21161314501.200
2 NLCS027.20210.01083213421.200

Will these numbers hurt his arbitration case?  Probably not since his season pitching ERA in 2016 rested comfortably at 3.10 with previous seasons sitting impressively at 1.77 in 2015 and 2.53 in 2014.  It will be interesting to see how he faces the Indians.

Jon Lester has been impressive this postseason sporting a 0.00 ERA when he faced the Giants and a 1.38 ERA in his two games against the Dodgers.  I look for him to continue this strong run but not without difficulty against the Indians who aren’t afraid to run and who will challenge Lester’s ability to throw to a base.

Former St. Louis Cardinals arm, John Lackey, has struggled as well this postseason.  He posted a 6.75 ERA against the Giants, and a 4.50 ERA against the Dodgers.  I trust the Indians will give him a very tough challenge.

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Kyle Hendricks hiccuped against the Giants wherein he posted a 4.91 ERA but rebounded against the Dodgers and posted a 0.71 ERA.  The Dodgers postseason is not a fair comparison to the Cleveland postseason– the Indians are on fire while the Dodgers fizzled.

I said above that I wouldn’t mind the Cubs winning.  Let me clarify here that my word choice was not accidental.  I wouldn’t mind them winning but don’t want them to win.  The Cleveland Indians, in my opinion, deserve the win more and are playing better baseball quite honestly.

As a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan, I just cannot root for the Cubs.  Sorry.  When I look at the statistics above, I find that I might not have too much about which to worry.  In other words, if the Cubs continue the performance levels shown above, I feel the Indians will have their way with them and the series could end quickly.

Next: The Case For a Toronto Trade

Interested in knowing more about the Indians?  Check back with us tomorrow for a recap of their squad similar to this Cubs recap.  Who are you rooting for or, better yet, who are you rooting against?