The 2016 regular season finally kicks off later today vs. the Los Angeles Angels and on WSCR. After a disappointing spring training performance by the Cubs it's time to start playing for real.
Pregame coverage on 670 The Score begins at 8:30 CT tonight prior to a 9:05 first pitch, so the Cubs' expanded coverage before games will run approximately half an hour. I will be curious to see how long the postgame show runs as Les Grobstein is usually scheduled to start his overnight shift at midnight (I will try to stay up that late to find out, but can't guarantee I won't fall asleep).
In the Tribune, Ed Sherman's Monday column has a few more details on pre- and postgame coverage:
The expanded coverage features a pregame show that will run 35 minutes, including segments with manager Joe Maddon and pitching coach Chris Bosio. The postgame show, hosted by Mark Grote, will stretch to 45 minutes and perhaps longer.
Last week was one for prognostications by baseball pundits and while I did not listen to or take note of many, I did take down the preseason picks of "Inside the Clubhouse'' hosts Bruce Levine and Mike Esposito. Their Saturday morning selections for individual honors and team playoff qualifiers carried a distinct hometown flavor/bias. Without further comment, I present their picks.
Division races and playoffs:
Levine: Astros, Indians, Red Sox (AL division winners); Rangers, White Sox (wild card winners); ALCS: Astros over Indians.
Giants. Cubs, Mets (NL division winners); Diamondbacks, Cardinals (wild card winners). NLCS: Cubs over Giants.
World Series: Cubs over Astros in seven games.
Esposito: Blue Jays, Royals, Astros (AL division winners); Rangers, Red Sox (wild card winners). ALCS: Blue Jays over Royals.
Giants Cubs, Mets (NL division winners), Cardinals, Nationals (wild card winners). NLCS: Cubs over Mets.
World Series: Cubs over Blue Jays in seven games.
AL MVP: Levine: Jose Abreu (White Sox). Esposito: Carlos Correa (Astros).
NL MVP: Levine: Anthony Rizzo (Cubs). Esposito: Bryce Harper (Nationals).
AL Cy Young: Levine: Chris Sale (White Sox). Esposito: Sale.
NL Cy Young: Levine: Madison Bumgarner (Giants). Esposito: Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers).
Cubs home run leader: Levine: Rizzo, 41; Esposito: Kris Bryant, 39.