Even after a terrible 2-10 stretch, the Chicago Cubs control their destiny with a single week remaining in the regular season.
We have come to the final week of the season and the Chicago Cubs currently hold a playoff spot. That is a beautiful thing to be able to say. The rollercoaster season continued this past week with close games and some off-the-collar comments, but they were still able to get the job done at home.
This final week will certainly be a test for the Chicago Cubs, but their playoff odds of 58% show that they still have a pretty good shot to make it into October. With the Phillies basically locked into the first WC, I’m omitting them from this post. So let’s see how things are shaking up as the season is coming to a close.
Arizona Diamondbacks: 82-74, Tied with the Cubs, 1 game ahead of Marlins, 3 ahead of Reds. Tiebreaker over Cubs
Remaining Schedule: 3 @ CHW, 3 vs HOU
Their dropping of the very wet series vs. the Yankees in New York tightened up the race even more as they are tied with the Cubs and hold just a one-game lead over Miami. The 6-1 season series advantage over the Chicago Cubs continues to loom large for both. Arizona’s last series of the season against the Astros, who are also battling for a playoff berth, could have big implications in both leagues.
Chicago Cubs: 82-74 .5 game back of Diamondbacks, 1 game ahead of Marlins, 2.5 games ahead of Reds.
Remaining Schedule: 3 @ ATL, 3 @ MIL
The 4-2 home stand against the Pirates and Rockies looks good on paper, but it was certainly an adventure. Nonetheless, it was good enough to keep the team in a playoff spot heading into the final week. Of all the competitors for the Wild Card, the Cubs have by far the hardest schedule. Luckily for them, both the Braves and Brewers have clinched already so they may choose to ease up and rest with their eyes toward the playoffs.
Miami the Marlins: 81-75, 1.5 games back of Diamondbacks, 1 game back of Cubs, 1.5 games ahead of Reds. Tiebreaker over the Cubs, Reds, Diamondbacks.
Remaining Schedule: 3 @ NYM, 3 @ PIT
Once again, the Marlins continue to hold strong as they bounced back from a series loss to the Mets to take the series vs. the NL Central-leading Brewers. Just like the Chicago Cubs, they will finish out their season with six road games, though they are lesser opponents. As long as they better the Cubs or Diamondbacks by one game this week, they will be in due to holding the tiebreaker over both.
Cincinnati Reds: 80-77, 3 games back of Diamondbacks, 2.5 games back of Cubs, 1.5 games back of Marlins. Tiebreaker over Cubs and Diamondbacks.
Remaining Schedule: 2 @ CLE, 3 @ STL
This past week has really put the Reds season on life support. They lost both series at home to the Twins and Pirates. The Saturday loss to Pittsburgh was especially a killer as they blew the game in historical fashion. Basically, a 5-0 week with some good amount of backward movement from the leaders in front of them is the only hope the Reds have.
So as it stands, the Chicago Cubs control their own destiny. Of course, their road won’t be easy as they own no tiebreakers and play road games against two of the three NL division winners. They have chosen to line up their rotation as Steele, Tailion, Stroman, Hendricks, and Wicks this week with the possibility of throwing their ace, Justin Steele, on the last day of the season if they need to win to get in.
There have been a lot of ups and downs from being 10 under .500, losing stars to injury, having as high as a 90+ percent chance to make the playoffs, and dropping out of a playoff spot altogether. Even still, if you had told Cubs fans the team just needed to take off business in the final week and they make the playoffs, every single one would have taken it. Settle in for a fun and nerve-wracking week of baseball.
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