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Nerds & Track Suits

The weirdest thing about this historic Cubs season is dealing with the losses. Every loss makes you think, well, how the heck did that happen? These guys lose a series to the Giants two weeks ago and then win 10 of 11 games going in to Sunday. And then they lose the Jake Arrieta game to make it a 10-2 stretch of games. Really? The Jake Arrieta a start? And sure, 10-2 is super awesome and impressive, but really, how the heck does that happen?

And then you think, you know, this same ridiculous thing could happen in the playoffs. And that makes you crap your pants. Because what else is there worry about right now? The Cubs are up 9 1/2 games over the Pirates and it's the first week in June. It could be a 15-game lead by July.

Well, it could be a 3-game lead as well, but are we really worried about that right now? No. Not really, and why should anyone be? According to the nerds, the Cubs have actually won fewer games than they should have. They've actually been UNLUCKY this year.

The nerds also say the Cubs have a 98% chance of winning the division. The nerds also say that they have just a 18.9% chance of winning the World Series. Still, that's higher than any other team in the league, but just 18.9%?? NERDS!!

I guess the bottom line is that this is a great team and they have a great season going. The Cubs look like a shoo-in to make the playoffs but are more than 80% likely to NOT win the whole thing. So, that's fun.

Just like winning 10 of the last 11 games and then losing the Jake Arrieta start. You just don't know. So yeah, the real bottom line is that fans should enjoy this summer and this great season as it is unfolding; they'll be plenty of time to, well, you know.

Week in Review: The Cubs went 4-2 for the week, winning three of four from the Dodgers and two of three from the D-backs. And somehow the Cubs avoided seeing the best pitchers on both of the teams they played this week in Clayton Kershaw and Zach Greinke. The dream season not only is dreamy, but seems to be at least a little bit lucky.

Week in Preview: The boys in blue hit the road for a nine-game road trip. They start in Philly this week and then go to Atlanta over the weekend. Lucky or not, the Cubs should smoke these teams. They bad. Like homemade Iron Man costume bad.

Musical Outfielders: And no, we aren't talking about Matt Szczur playing the French horn. Jorge Soler continues to get the majority of playing time in left field, as a starter anyway. George Sun had five starts this week with Kris Bryant getting the other two. I emphasize "start" with Jorge because he's still getting the hook for a defensive replacement as soon as it gets to the 6th inning or so. You have to wonder what would be happening if Kyle Schwarber was still around. Would Kyle be pulled in the 3rd inning, and then Soler gets in there and gets pulled in the 6th?

Former Annoying Cub of the Week: I never really liked former Cub pitcher Jason Marquis. He last pitched for the Cubs in 2008. In retrospect, he was on the team for just two years, and the Cubs were in the playoffs both years, and he was a really good hitting pitcher, but I never liked him. I can't seem to find any additional info on Jason besides that he was in the Reds minor league system in 2015 and then he was released. His Wikipedia page seems like it was written by Jason himself as it seems a bit more complimentary than it should be. He's not really missed.

Current Annoying Cub of the Week: I'm going to go with Jon Lester this week. Not because he played poorly or anything - he actually pitched great this week - but becaue it was his turn for the "theme" road trip idea. And he put the Cubs in some NBA-inspired warm-up suits. But I guess they aren't that bad looking, and I guess it's all in fun, but this whole shtick just annoys me. But I might be jealous that I can't wear stuff like this to work myself. Not that I particularly want to, but whatever. Y'all just keep winning games.

Mad(don) Scientist: Big Poppa Joe got tossed on Sunday for arguing a call on a check swing. It looked like it was a bad call and Joe should be a bit mad but it also seemed like a quick toss by the umpire. But if nothing else Joe had a little extra time to make sure his track suit fit.

Kubs Kalender: Fans attending the Cubs-Braves game in Altanta on Sunday will get to hang out with some Brave alumni. Here's is what the promotion is: Come meet and get autographs from former Braves players Marquis Grissom, John Rocker, Terry Harper and Dwight Smith on the Fan Plaza two hours before first pitch! Jesus, Braves PR guys. John Rocker? Might as well call it a Trump rally.

Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that 18.9% just doesn't seem big enough.


Marty Gangler is The Cub Factor. He welcomes your comments.

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