Chicago Cubs: What Needs to Happen to Win It All

Paul Augustin, Jr.Senior Analyst IJune 16, 2008

1908.  Bartman.  The Billy Goat.  This year's Chicago Cubs team does not care. 

Maybe they shouldn't.

They have the majors' best record (45-25 as of June 16) and lead the majors in run differential at +108.

Despite a 16-17 road record, they are actually the fourth best team in the majors on the road and own an NL best 29-8 home mark.

Soriano's injury will be a blow, but the Cubs are 12-6 this year without him, and he will be back at the end of the summer to help his team win the division and lock down a playoff spot. 

However, the Cubs need to make a move by the July 31 trade deadline to bolster their starting rotation.

While Carlos Zambrano is a true ace and, along with Ryan Dempster, sports an 8-2 record and an ERA below three, Chicago's other three starters are inconsistent. 

Ted Lilly, Jason Marquis, and Sean Gallagher are back of the rotation pitchers who have not performed consistently and cannot be counted on to win big in the postseason. 

While Zambrano pitched well against the Diamondbacks in the 2007 postseason, Lilly was ineffective in a Game Two loss, and Marquis was skipped over in favor of Rich Hill. 

As of June 16, there seems to be a quality pitcher on the trade market: Erik  Bedard.

The Seattle Mariners, a popular preseason pick to win the AL West, have the worst record in the majors and have fired their GM.

Bedard's numbers are not sizzling (4-4, 4.14 ERA) but would be a solid number two or three starter for the Cubs.  In his last ten games, he has six quality starts.

If Bedard were to become a member of the Cubs, he would not have the pressure of being the ace of a staff.  He could also expect to get more run support.  The Mariners are the lowest scoring team in the majors while the Cubs are the highest.

If the Cubs hope to reverse the curse this year, it would be in their best interest to acquire some starting pitching they can count on down the stretch and in the postseason.