The Brewers had jumped out to a sizable division lead heading into the break, but a five-game losing streak has coupled with a six-game win streak from the Cubs to close the gap to a single game heading into Friday’s action. It’s still way to early to make any proclamations, but the Cubs are finally starting to resemble the team we thought we’d be getting.
And the projection systems agree, though FanGraphs has been particularly bullish on the defending champs all season. That remains the case now, with the Cubs projected to tally 88.5 wins and finish 7 games ahead of the Cardinals. In fact, the Brewers have fallen just below the Pirates in terms of projected wins and playoff percentage. As you can see from the chart below, the Cubs have really distanced themselves from the pack over the last week.
Baseball Prospectus doesn’t offer as robust an outlook, though they still give the Cubs a 71.1 percent chance at making the postseason with 87.1 wins. The Brewers are projected to finish about 4 games back and have only a 28 percent chance at the playoffs, while the Cards are projected to win 80.8 games.
This next week could be really telling when it comes to these odds, as the Cubs play both the Cardinals and Brewers for three games apiece. They won’t play either team again until September, when they square off with their division rivals 14 times (seven apiece).