That Game Was Designed to Make the Cubs Jealous, Sportsbooks Are Coming, and Other Cubs Bullets

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That Game Was Designed to Make the Cubs Jealous, Sportsbooks Are Coming, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Anyone else suddenly feeling like the biggest Braves fan on either side of the Mississippi?

  • If you watched the AL Wild Card Game last night, it was a freaking CLINIC in what killer stuff looks like in today’s game, and it should have looked fairly foreign to you. Outside of Yu Darvish and maybe an occasional Rowan Wick appearance, the Cubs simply don’t have guys who pair lively, electric fastballs with brutally nasty breaking stuff. To be sure, everyone wants those guys, but the A’s and Rays, man, they’ve developed them (and in the case of Charlie Morton, borrowed the development from the Astros) in spades. Just dude after dude throwing 95 mph with late life, and then breaking out killer slider or curveball, mixing in sinkers and changeups for good measure.
  • I was very jealous watching that, and recognized how far the Cubs still have to go in getting guys up to the big leagues who can be that dominant. That said, it is definitely encouraging that, in the first calendar year after building out the Pitch Lab, the Cubs remade – and got big contributions from – guys like Wick, Brad Wieck, and Kyle Ryan. Heck, the emergence of Alec Mills makes me wonder if maybe they’ve done an excellent job honing his craft, too. It can happen very quickly if you get the right talent and your infrastructure is humming along.
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
  • Speaking of happening quickly: Nick Anderson, man. No idea who that guy was until he pitched for the Rays last night. I’ll admit it. But with four strikeouts in five batters faced, all of them nasty, I noticed. Having looked him up, what in the world is this guy’s story? He’s already 29, made his big league debut this year with the Marlins, was traded at the deadline to the Rays as part of a package, and then struck out 52.6%(!!!) of the batters he faced once the Rays got him, while walking 2.6%(!!!). My God. Apparently he was a Brewers draft pick seven years ago, but didn’t sign. He played Indy Ball for a few years before the Twins signed him. He was fantastic in the minors, but was never called up, and then the Twins flipped him to the Marlins for a non-zero outfield prospect. He was pretty good with the Marlins, but otherworldly with the Rays.
  • A reminder why I always mention the Rays together with the Dodgers, Astros, and Yankees (all playoff teams) when it comes to the developmental powerhouses of the league:

  • To the Cubs: POACH FROM THEM ALL.
  • Oh yeah, speaking of the game, the Rays beat up on the A’s with four homers accounting for all five of their runs. They move on to face the Astros now in the ALDS, starting tomorrow (so get ready for a lot more jealousy). The NLDS kick off later today, with the Cardinals facing the Braves at 4pm CT, and the Nationals facing the Dodgers at 7:30pm CT. Go Braves. Go Nats.
  • A sportsbook is coming to a major sports arena, and this is just the start:

  • With legalized gambling coming to Illinois, the Cubs have reportedly been considering their own sportsbook at Wrigley Field, though this precedent out of Washington does not include one major thing MLB teams have been seeking if they’re going to permit gambling on their sport: a cut of the gambling dollars. Instead, in the Washington deal, the owner of the arena is merely getting rent (and the leagues get fees for access to their data stream).
  • A few other Chicago sports bits for your fancy:



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.