Quantifying Hope: Cubs at 100% Playoff Odds, Coin Flip for Second in Central
With just 10 days to go in the season, the Cubs have a 5.5 game lead in the Central and are coming off of what might be the most improbable four-game winning streak in franchise history. It started when they came back from a 2-0 deficit with four runs in the 9th against Josh Hader that included the first two hits, and first homer, he’d given up to lefty batters this year. Then things really got fun.
Alec Mills threw a one-in-10,000 no-hitter to demoralize the Brewers even further and secure a series win. Following a day off, the Cubs notched consecutive walk-off wins, one on a hit-by-pitch and the next on a single to left by Javy Báez during the 10th inning of a game that featured a featured a delay and a Jon Lester appearance. Incredibly, that’s not the first time the Cubs earned their fourth victory in a year over the Indians under those same circumstances.
As they head into Friday’s action with the Twins, the Cubs boast 100% playoff odds and a 98.9% chance of winning the division. Realistically, they’re only playing for a seed at this point because the Braves are right there battling them for the second spot. As for the rest of the Central, well, that’s still very much up in the air.
The Cardinals play the Pirates four times over the next three days, then head to Kansas City for three more, so they seemingly have an advantage over the Brewers and Reds. Cincy has to play the White Sox, who have the best record in the AL, then they host Milwaukee for three before finishing with three more in Minnesota. That’s a tough row to hoe.
The Brewers don’t have it much easier, as they’ve got that set against the Reds before finishing with five games in four days in St. Louis. All things considered, the single game separating all three teams chasing the Cubs could either get even tighter or just blow up entirely. One team getting hot is all it’ll take, but here’s to hoping this trio has to keep slugging it out and burning up their pitchers.
Ideally, the Cubs will get a chance to set up their playoff rotation properly and won’t have to battle for seeding, since getting the two and avoiding the Dodgers and Padres would be ideal. For now, it’s just nice to see the Cubs distancing themselves from the pack and playing good baseball down the stretch.