Series Preview: Houston Astros (33-65) at 2012 NL Central Champion Chicago Cubs (39-60)

One of the chief objections to Interleague play, especially the notion of two 15-team leagues and a year-round interleague schedule, is the onset of less than compelling matchups. Who wants to see the Twins and Padres? Is a Red Sox vs. Reds series really enough of a novelty to warrant any extra attention from either fan base? Who in America really cares to see the Seattle Mariners leave Washington state and come anywhere near Washington D.C.? How many rhetorical questions must I ask before the dead horse suffers enough?

Well, this isn’t interleague. This is divisional play. Cubs and Astros. I can’t even bring myself to compare how bad they are with a full statistical breakdown. Because I’m lazy? Yes, but not just that. Let me spell it out this way:

The Cubs and Astros have a combined record of 72-125. When this series is through, assuming all three games get played without mother nature mercifully postponing the travesty it promises to be, they’ll have a combined record of 75-128. Simply by playing each other, these two teams will raise their collective win percentage by .004 points. The only way the Cubs and Astros can hope to amass three wins between them is to play each other. Otherwise, it’s just not happening.

With a series loss, the Cubs can inch closer to that vaunted #1 draft pick. With a series win, the Cubs will pass the .400 mark. It’s really a win-win. My only prediction: craptastic baseball. I defy Cassy and Winnie to set any other tone.