Your now regular look at the standings on the Cubs’ off-day.
Since the last check, the Cubs have fallen – climbed? – into 4th place in the reverse standings, having been passed by the White Sox. Given the relative schedules down the stretch, as well as the rosters, the White Sox were always expected to move past the Cubs. Indeed, the White Sox haven’t won since we last performed this exercise.
Here’s how things stand today (in reverse order), with 23 games left for the Cubs:
1. Houston Astros – 46-93
2. Miami Marlins – 52-86
3. Chicago White Sox – 56-82
4. Chicago Cubs – 59-80
5. Milwaukee Brewers – 60-79
6. Minnesota Twins – 61-77
7. San Diego Padres – 62-77
8. San Francisco Giants – 62-77
9. Philadelphia Phillies – 63-77
10. Seattle Mariners – 63-76
11. New York Mets – 63-75
12. Toronto Blue Jays – 64-76
13. Los Angeles Angels – 64-74
14. Colorado Rockies – 66-75
As we’ve discussed before, the real key here is to stay within the bottom 10 so that your team’s first round pick in 2014 is protected (leaving open at least the slim possibility that the Cubs could go after a big-time free agent who’s been made a qualifying offer).
In that regard, things are looking more comfortable for the Cubs. The teams in the 8 to 12 range were generally two or three games better than the Cubs as of last week, but now they’re more like three to five games better. The odds that the Cubs will fall out of the bottom 10 at this point are remote, though a winning streak could certainly put them quickly in the 8 to 10 range. The Cubs, by virtue of their record last year, will hold the tiebreaker over any team they might tie in the standings, so that will help.
The team just behind the Cubs, the Brewers, are on deck for the Cubs in a three-game set.