Besides the 16 out of 20 experts who picked the Cubs to win this series, Nate Silver and Joe Sheehan at Baseball Prospectus have climbed aboard the Cubbie bandwagon. Silver says Cubs will sweep; Sheehan says Cubs in four. (Jayson Stark, by the way, was the only one of those 16 ESPNers to pick the Cubs to win the World Series.)

Also at BP, Will Carroll says an advance scout pointed out to him that Carlos Marmol's velocity has been dropping over the second half of the season, which could be indicative of Marmol's 25-year-old right arm wearing down during his first pennant race. I'm still hoping the Cubs entrust more of those high-leverage relief innings to Bob Howry and Marmol and fewer to Ryan Dempster.

Within the last hour, Lou Piniella made some changes in his previously announced lineup, moving Jacque Jones up, moving Ryan Theriot down and pushing Soto up to seventh. That means the Cub order tonight will look like this:

Soriano LF
Jones CF
Lee 1B
Ramirez 3B
Floyd RF
DeRosa 2B
Soto C
Theriot SS
Zambrano P

According to Paul Sullivan, Piniella wants a lefty high in the order to face Brandon Webb, against whom lefties hit .272. Righties only hit .199 against the D-Back ace.


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