Jake Arrieta vs. Garrett Cole? Cubs vs. Pirates? A team with 97 wins taking on another with 95 wins, in a one-game, sudden death playoff?
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the first Game 7 of the 2015 MLB Playoffs!
While the Pirates are no surprise, playing in this game for the third straight year, the Cubs sort of are.
Being considered a cursed franchise for over a century, the Cubs finally started showing some promise last year. This year, they brought in former Red Sox World Series hero Jon Lester, longtime beloved Rays manager Joe Maddon, and upgraded blue chip prospects Kris Bryant and Addison Russell to their squad.
All of the above additions panned out pretty well. However, the biggest surprise was Jake Arrieta. Recently regarded as a washed-up prospect for the Baltimore Orioles, Arrieta was shipped away to the Cubs last year, where he played relatively well.
But this year, Arrieta has blossomed into one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball. Since August 1st, Arrieta has not lost a game, allowing less than one run per game! As a result, he is being viewed as a potential NL Cy Young candidate.
Honestly, this game should be a low scoring one. Both pitchers are high-caliber, but Cole I’d much more prone to a rough outing. I see him playing well, but Arrieta will out-duel him. If you like low-scoring, tense playoff baseball, you’ll be sure to enjoy this gem.
Prediction: Cubs 2, Pirates 1.