The Cubs have maintained the best playoff odds in the NL Central since May 2 and their lead has grown significantly over the past few days. Despite a 2-5 road trip that saw them return from the West Coast with their tails between their legs, the Cubs have managed to distance themselves from the Brewers.
That’s because Milwaukee dropped two of three in San Francisco before being swept out of San Diego and then lost a home game to the surging Reds. Yes, the surging Reds. Even with Christian Yelich hitting like Bizzaro Superman and benefiting from the lack of sun at Miller Park, the Crew has faded hard of late.
They were at 64.5% playoff odds on June 12 and have dropped nearly 20 points over the last nine days. If that precipitous decline were to be expressed audibly, I imagine it’d sound something like pee dribbling down Ryan Braun’s leg.
The Cardinals haven’t fared much better, which tends to happen when your pinch-running pitcher gets picked off of second base by the Marlins. Ain’t that some Shildt. In fairness, both the Cards and Brewers still boast better odds than most other NL teams and could yet catch fire.
At the same time, the Cubs still have plenty of gas left in the tank and have pitching reinforcements on the way. Craig Kimbrel should be ready to go by early next week, Tony Barnette is pitching lights-out for Iowa, and Adbert Alzolay dazzled in his debut. They could go from not enough pitching to too much in a matter of days.
Now if they could just figure out how this whole IL thing works.