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Cubs Fri May 06 2011

Cubs Set for Big Homestand vs. Reds, Cards, Giants

Thumbnail image for cubs.gifAfter a masterful performance Wednesday by Carlos Zambrano and a day off yesterday, the Cubs return home for nine games against division rivals Cincinnati and St. Louis and the defending World Series champions from San Francisco.

This homestand could help sort out whether or not the Cubs (14-16) have a chance. The Reds, last year's NL Central champions, are scuffling along at 16-15, but they are expected to contend again for the division title. Sooner or later they're going to get it rolling; let's hope for the Cubs' sake it's not this weekend. The Cubs didn't fair well against the Red Legs last season, going 4-12 against them. If they expect to contend that number will undoubtedly have to change.

Tuesday through Thursday, the Cubs welcome their friends the Commies ... er, I mean, the Cardinals for their first meeting of the season. The Cubs had a winning record of 9-6 against the Redbirds last year, unlike the Reds, and were partially responsible for knocking them out of the playoff race in late September.

St. Louis (18-14) is currently occupying the top of N.L. Central as the only team in the division above .500. No one is running away with this thing just yet, so a few wins against what are viewed as top teams in the Central will go a long way to building up the Cubs' confidence.

The Cubs close out home stand with a visit from the 15-16 Giants. The Giants still have one of the best rotations in the league and shouldn't be taken lightly, but the Cubs are facing them at the right time. If they are going to contend they need to beat teams when they are down.

This homestand will prove critical for the Cubs. If they can accomplish a winning record at home, it'll most definitely solidify them as serious contenders for the division.

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