The Chicago Cubs magic number took a hit this weekend, as we expected. The Cubs took 2-of-3 games from the Astros while the Cardinals split their four game series against the Brewers. The Cubs still have a 16 game lead heading into the three-game series that starts today in St. Louis.
Here are the National League Central standings.
The Pirates, who were neck and neck with the Cardinals, are now out of the running. Well, who am I kidding, the Cardinals are also out of the running but the Pirates aren’t even part of the conversation any longer. They’ve slipped to three games below .500 and are officially eliminated.
The Cubs can win the division in St. Louis if they sweep the Cardinals, which is something they haven’t been able to do all season. Expect this series to be intense, with the Cubs trying to win the division and the Cardinals fighting for a Wild Card spot – a position they are not at all familiar with. You can bet the Cardinals will be pulling out all the stops to prevent the Cubs from clinching at Busch Stadium.
In the race for the best record in the National League, and home field advantage throughout the NL playoffs, the Washington Nationals have tightened things up a bit. They are now only 6.5 games back from the Cubs. At this point, the Nationals have a comfortable 11 game lead over the Mets so both teams, the Cubs and the Nationals. are playing for the top spot in the league at this point.
If the Cubs don’t clinch in St. Louis, they will very likely clinch at home during the upcoming ten game home stand. Hopefully they can do it with a win on the field verses a loss by the Cardinals while they’re not on the field. The fans have waited all year to celebrate with this team and an on-field clinch will be sure to bring raucous joy to Wrigley Field.