Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Hated Rivals Could Help Cubs Clinch Playoff Berth


The Chicago Cubs have 15 games left in the regular season and heading into their weekend series against the Arizona Diamondbacks the Cubs sit in the second Wild Card spot. The Cubs obviously have to take care of their own business the next two weeks, but they could also get help from a pair of hated rivals to clinch a playoff berth.

NL Standings Update (start of 9/15)

After a brutal series loss against the Colorado Rockies, the Cubs lost ground in the division to the Milwaukee Brewers, who were able win three of four against the Miami Marlins. Here are the updated NL Central standings with the three teams still in contention.

NL Central
Brewers: 82-64
Cubs: 78-69: 4.5 GB
Reds: 76-72: 7 GB

Meanwhile, the NL Wild Card race remains tight, as three teams are currently tied for the third spot, all trailing the Cubs by 2.5 games. The Marlins are also in the mix, three games back. As for the Cubs, they are 1.5 games back of the Philadelphia Phillies for the number one Wild Card spot.

NL Wild Card
Phillies: 79-67: +4
Cubs: 78-69 +2.5
Giants: 75-71: –
Reds: 76-72: –
Diamondbacks: 76-72: –
Marlins: 75-72: 0.5 GB

Cardinals and Mets Could Help Cubs

The St. Louis Cardinals were officially eliminated from the division race on Thursday, but they can still play spoiler down the stretch against teams vying for a playoff spot that in turn would benefit the Cubs. The Cardinals have 16 games left to play and 13 of them are against the Brewers, Reds and Phillies.

Cardinals Remaining Schedule
Sept. 15-17: vs. Phillies
Sept. 18-21: vs. Brewers

Sept. 22-24: @ Padres
Sept. 26-28: @ Brewers
Sept. 29-Oct. 1: vs. Reds

For the division race, that’s seven games against the Brewers that the Cubs will be closely keeping an eye on.

Meanwhile, the Mets have already helped out the Cubs this week, winning three of four against the Diamondbacks. All 16 games left for the Mets are against the Phillies, who are just ahead of the Cubs in the Wild Card standings, or the Reds and Marlins, who are right behind the Cubs.

Mets Remaining Schedule
Sept. 15-17: vs. Reds
Sept. 18-20: @ Marlins
Sept. 21-24: @ Phillies
Sept. 26-28: vs. Marlins
Sept. 29-Oct. 1: vs. Phillies

The Cubs only have six games left against teams they are directly battling with for playoff positioning, with three games against Arizona this weekend and three games to end the season in Milwaukee.

Of course, as much as we want the Mets and Cardinals to help out the Cubs, obviously the chance that they shit the bed also exists, that could make things a lot more difficult for the Cubs to end September.

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