By Andy Koval

It’s finally here. After going through a whole month of meaningless baseball in September, the Chicago Cubs begin the real 2016 season with hopes of marching through the playoffs and following through on their goal of winning the World Series. The Cubs won 103 games eclipsing my preseason prediction and proving time and time again that they’re the best team in baseball. Let’s dive in and look at some important storylines for the Cubs’ post season run mixed in with some tunes.

Pitching Wins Championships
Santigold – Lights Out

If you look back on the matchup last year with the Mets, the story was the Mets’ pitching vs. the Cubs’ young hitting. Obviously, pitching prevailed, but this is a different year and the Cubs have the best pitching coming into the playoffs. Their team ERA of 3.15 is well below the next best and built in off days means one thing – a whole lot of Aroldis Chapman.

Top Seed History = Terrifying
The Killers – On Top

Over the last 20 years, the team with the best record in baseball has only won the World Series 19 percent of the time. Baseball playoffs are as about as unpredictable as March Madness, so get your Tums ready Cubs fans because the next few weeks are going to be an absolute whirl wind. Groove to “On Top” by The Killers, every song on Hot Fuss could of been a single.

Will Jason Heyward Play?
Otis Redding – Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay

If you buy into social media drama; Heyward deleted his twitter account yesterday. Did he potentially get told by Joe Maddon he’s going to be a role player and freaked? This might sound harsh, but it’s true – Jason shouldn’t touch a post season starting lineup this October unless the Cubs are facing a right hander that gets absolutely whacked by left handed hitting. With Soler healthy again, plugging in a combination of Bryant, Soler, and Contreras over Jason in the outfield is the best baseball move.

Teams to Root For/Fear
Fastball – The Way

As far as tomorrow night goes, I think most Cubs fans would be in agreement that we would like to face the Mets instead of the Giants. Two huge factors on why the Mets would be better; their pitching staff is just depleted as ace Noah Syndergaard wouldn’t get the ball until game three against Jake. Plus, the revenge factor, the Cubs will have extra motivation to beat New York on account of the sweep in the NLCS last year.

As far as the NLCS, it’s close but with the recent news of the Nationals losing starting catcher Wilson Ramos, I say bring on Washington. For what it’s worth (not much) we dominated them in a 4 game sweep at Wrigley and were 5-2 overall against them. We’re getting ahead of ourselves with this, but the Boston Red Sox come into the playoffs scorching hot and we should root for them to have an early exit in the American League. PS – Fastball has got to be one of the most underrated bands of 90’s.

Right on Schedule
Tame Impala – Let It Happen

A lot of folks have written that this resurgence has come on quickly, but I imagine if you asked Theo five years ago what year he would peg the Cubs in the playoffs, he would of said 2015. Promise low, deliver high is something he mastered with the media here. He’s worth every penny of the 50 million dollar extension he just signed, making him the highest paid executive in sports. Cheers Theo, let’s let some magic unfold in the next month.

Projected Game One Lineup:
Van Halen – Jump

I tried to take my best stab at the lineup Joe will unleash for game one. If we play the Mets Jason Heyward’s chances to start will rise dramatically as he owns at .318 career average against Bartolo Colon aka Big Sexy. I think we will face the Giants though.

My defense of benching Heyward throughout the playoffs is this – Baez brings about the same defensive value as Jason (Heyward is having his 2nd worst defensive season of career) so take a look at their stat lines. One players’ is .273/.314/.423 w/ 14 HR’s and 59 RBI’s in 421 at-bats. The other is .230/.303/.325 w/ 7 HR’s and 49 RBI’s in 530 at-bats. Baez is the first player, and he can replicate this.

Cue the music, should of never been changed as the walk out tune:

Opposing Pitcher – Cueto (Giants) or Colon (Mets)
CF – Fowler
LF – Bryant
1st – Rizzo
2nd – Zobrist
RF – Soler
SS – Russell
3rd – Baez
C – Ross
P – Lester

It’s going to be one wild ride, after searching the internet far and wide – I present the best 2016 hype video I could find, goosebumps. Go Cubs Go!

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