Quantifying Hope: Cubs Shovel Dirt on Milwaukee’s Grave, Boost Playoff Odds to Nearly 87%

With three more games remaining in Milwaukee, the Cubs have a chance to do something they couldn’t last season: Bury the Brewers. Last year’s NL Central champs have been unable to summon up a fresh batch of devil magic after burning through their limited supplies to fuel last year’s run, thus their odds freefall has continued.

The Brewers now sit five games behind the Cubs for the final Wild Card spot, where they are tied with the Mets and trailing the Diamondbacks and Phillies. Even with a favorable schedule that features series against the Marlins, Padres, Pirates, and Rockies, that’s a lot of ground to make up.

As for the Cubs, well, they’re once again dealing with an opponent that just doesn’t seem to lose often enough. The Cardinals have been crazy hot since the second week of August and they don’t appear to be letting off the gas, even as they slog through a stretch of 11 games in nine days. If the Cubs keep pace, those last seven games between the two teams could have a huge impact on the playoff race in general.

The Braves and Dodgers are locked in, with the Nationals boasting 96.9% odds at this point. Then you’ve got the Mets (9.6%) and D-backs (7.8%) lingering on at the periphery. Should their remaining head-to-head matchups get really lopsided, either the Cubs or Cards could end up on the outside of the hunt. As blasphemous as it sounds, that might be preferable to the Wild Card.

I mean, it’s not, but those one-gamers are taxing on the soul. We can save such talk for another time, since the Cubs have more immediate business to take care of.

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