The Cubs can probably kiss even the #2 pick away as they failed to gain any ground on the Marlins as they remain 6.5 games behind Miami. The Cubs are actually closer to falling out of the Top 10 draft picks altogether (5 games) than they are to catching Miami.
As I mentioned last week, Houston is sewing up back-to-back 1st pick finishes. Extending their overall lead on Miami from 6.5 games to 7. They're on pace to lose 108 games. It's quite a showing from the boys in Houston.
The Cubs remained in the #4 spot, losing a game and a half to the hard-charging White Sox that just ended their 9-game losing streak yesterday, but gaining a half game on the 5th place spot previously occupied by Milwaukee and now owned by Minnesota. The Cubs can still catch the White Sox, but it's going to be difficult especially since the Cubs keep getting decent pitching from everybody they plug into the rotation down the stretch. Rusin has been decent, Arrieta is inconsistent but occasionally very good, and now Scott Baker debuted with 5 shutout innings. Compared to last year's parade of guys whose names I've already deleted from my memory, the current crop are Cy Young candidates by comparison.
This is probably the biggest reason the Cubs will most likely not meet my prediction of 100 losses again. They can't finish over .500 anymore as they lost their 82nd game yesterday, but they can still avoid 100 losses by winning 3 of their last 20 games. It's not impossible since they'll be playing a lot of playoff teams down the stretch (16 of their last 20), but 2-18 is hard to do for the worst teams. They can accidentally win 3 games and finish with 99 losses.
- 3 at Cincinnati
- 4 at Pittsburgh
- 4 at Milwaukee
- 3 vs. Atlanta
- 3 vs. Pittsburgh
- 3 at St. Louis
Cubs finish 66-96. They'll win 4 on their current road trip and 2 of their last 9. The X factor will be how they play Milwaukee, but the Brewers seem to have it in for the Cubs and they won't mail that series in.