Seems the Cubs are sort of taking berselius’ advice. Despite some offensive hiccups lately to go with injuries to the pitching staff, the Cubs made out with a 3-2 home stand that probably should have been 5-0, but is better than the alternative where they completely collapse.
The Cubs currently sit three games out of first because the Texas Rangers were completely useless all weekend. The better news is that they are also a game ahead of the Reds in second place, hold the final wild card spot outright, and are within spitting distance of both the Giants and the Phillies for a higher seed.
The Cubs also have two additional games to play compared to their closest division rivals, one more than either San Francisco or Philly, and are ahead two games in the loss column for the closest wild card contenders behind them.
In this next week before the Cubs host the Brewers at Wrigley for Battle to the Death III, the schedule is allegedly easy since they face struggling Detroit (3) and Pittsburgh (4). It is highly unlikely the Cubs run the table against the Pirates in all 13 games, and since these are all MLB teams and baseball can be stupid, you can’t really bank on a 7-0 week. While 7-0 would be nice, I think something closer to 5-2 is probably more reasonable to expect, and anything less than that has to be considered disappointing or devastating depending on your perspective. Kind of glad the Brewers still haven’t run away with the division, but we’re now at 39 games remaining and time is running out, so wins are about as critical as they’re going to get.
Odds-wise, the Cubs playoff probability stands at 55% and they still have non-zero shots at winning the division and even scoring a bye. We can take a look at what comes next for the other teams this week:
- Philly – SF (3) & STL (3)
- SF – Philly (3) & ATL (3)
- MIL – Twins (2) & SD (3)
- AZ – Rangers (2) & CIN (4)
- CIN – Angels (3) & AZ (4)
- MIA – SD (3) & Nats (3)
I do not think I’m alone when I hope for mutually assured destruction from all those teams playing each other while the Cubs hopefully reignite their offense against some relatively soft competition. The Cubs should definitely take advantage, but honestly, I can’t tell them what to do.