2008 Chicago Cubs Playoff Outlook
The Chicago Cubs received a decent amount of hype heading into this season, and they certainly haven't disappointed their fans thus far.
Trying to end the longest World Series drought in the Major Leagues, the Cubs seem poised to bring a championship to their title-starved fans.
Chicago has arguably the best starting rotation in baseball, which has carried them much of the season. Carlos Zambrano has been his usual self despite a shoulder injury, and Ryan Dempster is establishing himself as one of the top arms in the National League.
After watching the Milwaukee Brewers acquire ace C.C. Sabathia from the Cleveland Indians, the Cubs made a move to answer their division rival by acquiring pitcher Rich Harden from the Oakland Athletics.
Although hardly the most durable of pitchers, Harden has been sensational since coming over from the A's, and he is still under the club's control through 2009. So far, so good on the injury front, but that is certainly always a concern with Harden.
Veteran pitcher Ted Lilly is overlooked because of the other three starters, but he is outstanding for being the fourth man in the rotation. While Lilly can be maddening with his control issues and lack of consistency, he has #2 starter type stuff.
The arms in the bullpen certainly don't hurt either. Kerry Wood had just one stay on the disabled list this year, and it was a blister issue, not an arm injury. He has adjusted very nicely to his closer's role.
Carlos Marmol has proven to be arguably the top set-up man in the game, while rookie Jeff Samardija proved he belonged in the Major Leagues after seeing time while Wood was out with an injury.
The lineup doesn't have a ton of power in it, but the Cubs are very good at finding various ways to score runs. It will also help if they can keep outfielder Alfonso Soriano healthy for a lengthy period of time.
While Cubs fans are still a little pessimistic about their chances given their luck the past century, it seems like this team is built for a run at the title in October.