Other than being the title of a pretty cool Star Trek episode, this coming week marks the next phase in the Cubs race towards extra baseball in October. As it stands, the Cubs stand 3.5 games back of NL Central leader Milwaukee, so they didn’t lose too much ground after an unfortunate (but ultimately acceptable) split in Cincinnati. They are also 2.5 games back of Philly for the top wild card spot and 3 games up on the final spot, so there is a cushion to work with should they falter this week. However, said teams behind the Cubs have all had their issues, which is why that cushion remains despite the hiccups with the bullpen and offense and possibly David Ross being a conundrum.
Let’s take a look at the week’s slate:
Cubs –> at home vs SF (3) & AZ (4); I’m hoping for 4-3 or better, basically they should avoid losing either series.
Reds –> vs Mariners (3) & STL (3); Mariners may be helpful as they are on a tear, but the Cardinals have lost some devil magic so who knows with them. Reds have the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cubs so it would be best for the Reds to crash this week.
Diamondbacks –> they will host the Rockies (3) before heading to Chicago and I’m pretty sure the Rockies will be absolutely useless in that series, but strange things are afoot this time of year and the various Rockies playing for their next shot might not mind being spoilers.
Philly –> at Padres (3) & vs Marlins (3); the Padres just won a crucial series (for the Giants anyway) against SF before the Wrigley series so they might yet play spoiler some more, while the Marlins are suddenly one of the contenders tied for that final wild card spot so they should be suitably motivated to work over the Phillies.
Marlins –> 3 vs LA before their series in Philly, so maybe the Dodgers work them over since LA is still mathematically in the hunt for the top seed instead of their current second seed, either way the Dodgers are most likely earning a bye.
Giants –> after Wrigley, they’ll host the Rockies for 3 and as stated above, the Rockies are likely to be useless so it behooves the Cubs to win their series as they did earlier this season.
Brewers –> @ PIT (3) & @ Yankees (3); I expect the Pirates to be of no help and the Yankees did just sweep the Astros for the first time in a decade, but they’ve been trash for a while and the Brewers did channel the dark dimension for their most recent winning run before they ran into the Cubs, so if they continue to run the table the division may be slipping away, though if the Cubs hold serve they’ll keep that series at the end of the season very intriguing.
You wanted meaningful baseball in September, you got it.