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The Cubs have a magic number of two to clich the division, and of one to clinch at least a tie.  With three games to go, that doesn't exactly bring a smile to my face.

In short, the only way the Brewers win the division free and clear is by winning the next three games against the Padres while the Reds sweep the Cubs.  Neither seems like a particularly good bet.

More likely, though still a bit too far-fetched for my taste, is a tie.  That could happen in one of two ways:

  • Cubs get swept, and Brewers win 2 of 3.
  • Brewers win out, and Cubs lose 2 of 3.
For all the times I've made fun of various parts of the Reds pitching staff, the timing has worked out pretty nicely.  Here are the matchups in Cinci this weekend:
  • Zambrano vs. Arroyo
  • Hill vs. Harang
  • Lilly vs. Homer Bailey
The Cubs are lined up pretty nicely, too.  Tonight is probably tilted the most heavily in the Cubs favor; Sunday is more of a crapshoot, since Bailey has been inconsistent in his first big-league season.

The matchups in Milwaukee (or, the Cliff's Notes version of dixieflatline's series preview):

  • Maddux vs. Capuano
  • Chris Young vs. Bush
  • Brett Tomko vs. Suppan
    (Unless the Padres need to win to clinch at least a tie for the West or the Wild Card, in which case Jake Peavy will pitch on three days rest.)
I don't like our odds, but they could be worse.  I suppose last night proved that it isn't so much the pitching matchup, but whether Ryan Braun wears the glove with the hole in it.  

Condensing all of this to one sentence:

Tonight would be a great time for Chris Capuano to break his g*d** streak.