With just three weeks of regular season left, it’s a good time to take a look at where the Chicago Cubs are positioned for a possible playoff berth.
It hasn’t always been an easy season, but, nonetheless, the Chicago Cubs have gotten hot as of late and have put themselves in great position to make it to the playoffs for the first time since the 2020 season. The division is not yet out of reach as they continue to hang close to the Brewers, but the Wild Card might be the best avenue to get into the playoffs. So, lets take at how things are currently looking at all three Wild Card Spots.
Philadelphia Phillies: 78-64, 2 game lead over Cubs for top Wild Card
Remaining Schedule: 4 vs ATL, 3 @ STL, 3 @ ATL, 4 vs NYM, 3 vs PIT, 3 @ NYM
The Phillies basically kissed the division goodbye by late May as the Braves have been steam rolling everyone, but they’ve been holding serve in this top WC spot for a while now. You know they’d love to play their series as home and let the Philly faithful give them a true home-field advantage. Seven of their final games against the Braves might make that a hard thing to accomplish.
Chicago Cubs: 77-67, 2 games back of Phillies 2 games ahead of Diamondbacks
Remaining Schedule: 3 @ COL, 3 @ AZ, 3 vs PIT, 3 vs COL, 3 @ ATL, 3 @ MIL
This past series against the Diamondbacks was definitely a frustrating one for the Chicago Cubs as they lost two full games on their lead. However, being able to salvage the series finale was huge and avoided being swept at home and being tied with Arizona. Even still, they can’t take the pedal off the medal as they don’t own the tiebreaker over any of their WC foes except the Giants, and because they could still jump Philly for a series at home in the Wild Card round.
Arizona Diamondbacks: 75-69, 2 games back of Cubs, .5 games ahead Marlins
Remaining Schedule: 4 @ NYM, 3 vs CHC, 2 vs SF, 3 @ NYY, 3 @ CHW, 3 vs HOU
From leading the division as late as July to losing 25 of 32 and topping below .500, it has been a rollercoaster season for the D-Backs. However, it seems as if they’ve righted the ship and have now won 18 of 28 to get themselves back in the playoff picture. Their series win vs the Chicago Cubs did wonders for their standing as well. They will host the Cubs this upcoming weekend in another series that could swing the standings as well.
Miami Marlins: 74-69, .5 games back of Diamondbacks
Remaining Schedule: 4 @ MIL, 3 vs ATL, 3 vs NYM, 3 vs MIL, 3 @ NYM, 3 @ PIT
The Miami Marlins have been proving the doubters wrong all year as they continue to hold strong in the thick of the playoff race. It looked like they might be toast a couple of weeks ago, but they’ve won 8 of 10 including series wins over both the Dodgers and Phillies. With 11 of their final 19 vs. division leaders and recently losing the services of ace Sandy Alcantara and slugger Jorge Soler, it might be a tall task to get in. Being doubted is when they thrive, so you never know.
San Francisco Giants: 73-70, 1.5 games back of Diamondbacks
Remaining Schedule: 3 vs CLE, 4 @ COL, 2 @ AZ, 4 @ LAD, 3 vs SD, 3 vs LAD
They might not have the most talent or do things the “conventional” way, but the Giants find a way to win games and are in the middle of the playoff race. Their middling lineup could be getting a huge boost as Michael Conforto could be activated any day off the IL. Unlike maybe the Cubs or Phillies, the Giants won’t be able to back their way in as they have a tough rosd ahead with seven against rival Dodgers and two in AZ.
Cincinnati Reds: 74-71, 1.5 games back of Diamondbacks
Remaining Schedule: 3 @ DET, 3 @ NYM, 3 vs MIN, 3 vs PIT, 2 @ CLE, 3 @ STL
The upstart Reds have cooled off massively after their 12 game win streak and peak of 10 games above .500 in the first half. Their lack of dependable pitching has caught up to them as they have just one starter under a 4 ERA. Luckily for them, young star Hunter Greene recently returned and should bolster their rotation. With probably the easiest schedule remaining of all these teams, they aren’t out of it but will need some help as they are the only team who plays no one also in this Wild Card race.
Even with all these teams hot on the tail of the Chicago Cubs, they still have a 85.7% and a 91.9% chance to make the playoffs according to Fangraphs and Baseball Reference, respectively. That is over two times better than even their closest trailer, the Diamondbacks. As long as they take of business and win the games they should, the Chicago Cubs will be playing postseason baseball once again.
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