The Braves open the 2010 season when they host the Chicago Cubs for a three game, four day series – starting today. Even though a Cubs-Braves matchup isn’t as appealing as it may have been a few years ago, I still wish I had planned on going to today’s game. The weather in Georgia today is phenomenal; sunny with a high in the mid-80’s. I definitely feel like shellin’ some peanuts and watching Zambrano and Lowe duel today in Turner Field.
Carlos Zambrano and Derek Lowe are two pitchers in search of redemption, determined to prove that they can still lead their respective teams to victory. I would love to see what these two pitchers do on Opening Day. Man, on a side note, I’m having some sort of post-partum depression because I know that there’s no more planning, predicting, drafting, speculating, etc. Opening Day is here. Now I get to see my failed drafted come to fruition. Moving on…
The pitching matchups for the series are:
Game 1: Lowe v Zambrano
Game 2: Jurrjens v Dempster
Game 3: Hanson v Wells
Well, McLouth lost his leadoff spot, as I predicted. However, Jason Heyward did not win it, which was the other part of my prediction. Instead, that honor falls to Melky Cabrera – the same Melky Cabrera that I completely disregarded from a fantasy standpoint. I think I called him irrelevant. Cabrera can go ahead and put an exclamation point on my failed analysis of his fantasy value by thriving in his new role. That starts today, and all Melky has to do is get on base. I still don’t see him hitting more than 10 homers this season, and at most he could steal 15 bags.
McLouth stepped it up toward the end of spring, but those darned hammies got the better of him again, and he has been resting for the games that count. Here’s what I REALLY think: Nate McLouth was never meant to become Nate McLouth. As I remember it, he almost didn’t make the team in ’08, but a hot spring coupled with some injuries insured that he would start. And he had a good year. ONE. I think the eighth spot is probably where McLouth fits best. The wife must have sprinkled some “hate” into my coffee this morning.
The rest of the Bravo’s lineup is as was projected all preseason. Well, in my initial projections, I had Glaust fourth and McCann fifth. I like McCann batting cleanup – I really think he hits 30+ HRs this year.
The Cubs come to town with the same team they’ve had for 3 years – save the BLOCKBUSTER acquisition of Marlon Byrd. Give me a break, Chicago. Do you really want to get better, or just age “gracefully.”
Anyway, this isn’t a Cubbies blog. But if it was, I would have to ask, “Hey, if you were a hot dog, and you were starving, would you eat yourself?”
Back to business: these two teams are pretty evenly matched, but I think the Braves should take at least two of the three games in the series. Atlanta’s batters are more consistent than are the Cubs, and I’ll take Jurrjens and Hanson over Dempster and Wells any day that ends in why. It might all come down to the bullpen in this series, and if that’s the case then I give up. It’s a crapshoot from that point. Both bullpens have inconsistencies that could hurt them. I’ll give the edge to Atlanta just because Wagner is more reliable than Marmol.
Here’s a question: How F’in long was that Yankees – Red Sox game last night? Look, I know there were a lot of pitching changes, but seriously, ESPN! Next time, make it worth dragging out and give me some Neil Diamond in between EVERY INNING. I love watching baseball, but I am so jaded with the whole “Yankees – Red Sox rivalry!”
It just isn’t the same without Clemens and Schilling and those other crazies out there. Johnny Damon – beard, Johnny Damon – no beard. By the way – doesn’t his throwing motion make you want to throw up in your mouth? Pedro, Nomar, Giambi, Manny… Those guys made it a rivalry. Kevin Youkilis is too sweaty to care about who wins, and CC just wants a burger, man. Can a guy get a burger?
Watch Nate McLouth hit two homers tonight. I doubt it, but if he does I’ll admit I was wrong.