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How Much Does $146 Million Buy? Cubs vs. Mets Preview, Wednesday 4/21, 6:10 CT

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There was some discussion in one of the threads in the last couple of days about payrolls and where the Cubs rank. Maury Brown at Biz of Baseball has the complete breakdown of Opening Day payrolls here. The Cubs rank third behind the Yankees and Red Sox; the Cubs' OD payroll was, according to this article, $146,609,000, an 8.75% increase over Opening Day 2009. The Cubs also ranked third last year, although the Mets were second then, the Red Sox fourth.

In addition to your obvious comment that "the Cubs aren't getting their money's worth", at least not at the present time, the following teams may be in financial trouble if they continue to draw crowds as small as they have this week: Mariners, Orioles, Royals, Blue Jays, Nationals, Indians, and Toronto and Cleveland even with their 20% decrease in player payroll from last year. The Pirates can probably handle the small crowds with their last-place payroll of $34,943,000.

Looks like Ted Lilly's return will be Saturday in Milwaukee; I was planning on going to that game anyway and am happy I'll be able to see Ted's 2010 debut.

Lineup via tweet from Carrie:

#cubs lineup wed is ss theriot, 2b baker, 1b lee, cf byrd, 3b ramy, lf sori, c soto, rf colvin, p silva

So Colvin sits vs. Pelfrey and starts vs. a LHP? I don't get it.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Silva
Carlos Silva
Cubs
vs. Oliver Perez
Oliver Perez
Mets
1-0 W-L 0-1
0.69 ERA 3.75
8 SO 10
0 BB 7
0 HR 0
vs. NY -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Carlos Silva 1-0 2 2 0 0 0 0 13.0 8 3 1 0 0 8 0.69 .62


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Oliver Perez 0-1 2 2 0 0 0 0 12.0 8 5 5 0 7 10 3.75 1.25

Oliver Perez has had a strange career. A top Padres prospect, he was sent to the Pirates in the Brian Giles trade (along with Jason Bay, a pretty good deal for Pittsburgh). He has had really good years (2004, 2007). And really bad ones (2006, 2009). The Cubs have done pretty well against him -- he's 1-3, 5.59 in eight career starts. Current Cubs, though, are hitting only .230 (14-for-61) against Perez. Bottom line: who knows what he might do tonight?

Carlos Silva has made one career start vs. the Mets: June 18, 2007, while he was with the Twins. He threw well enough that day, but only Jose Reyes and David Wright will be among players who will play tonight, who played in that game. Most of Silva's experience vs. current Mets is from those players' days in the AL. Gary Matthews Jr. is 11-for-36 (.306) with five doubles vs. Silva. So far, Silva has thrown very well and has walked no one in 13 innings.

Today's game is back on cable: CSN Chicago and SNY. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Mets site Amazin' Avenue.

This afternoon's first pitch thread will be up at 6 pm CDT, and the overflows will post at 7:15, 8:15 and 9 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.