Got your beer ready? It’s a party, after all.
- There are but 52 games left for the Chicago Cubs in the 2014 season, meaning that more than 2/3 of the season is already in the books. At 47-63, even if the Cubs win every single game the rest of the way, they can’t win 100 games. That’s kind of a depressing mark in the season, but it’s not like we didn’t know this was coming many months ago (and it’s also not like we can’t all feel a certain positive energy building despite the big league losing).
- Presently, the Cubs (.427) stand ahead of only the Rangers (.384), the Rockies (.396), and the Astros (.420), and that’s even after winning five of their last seven. There’s a bunch of teams right around the Cubs, though, with the Diamondbacks (.438), the Phillies (.438), the Red Sox (.441), the Twins (.455), and the Padres (.439) within a perverse kind of striking distance. Without Paul Goldschmidt, and having dealt away a large number of starters in the last few weeks, you can count on the Diamondbacks sinking hard in the standings. The Rangers don’t figure to turn things around, and the Astros will probably also continue to fall. The Rockies could soon get a boost from Troy Tulowitzki, and the Phillies hung onto everyone at the deadline. The Red Sox are probably much better than their record. All in all, if you were trying to project the standings by the end of the year, you’d probably see something like Rangers/Diamondbacks/Astros at the bottom, with the Cubs, Rockies, Twins, and Padres in the next tier.
- Peaking ahead at the Cubs’ schedule, after this series against the Rockies, the Cubs don’t play *any* of those bottom rung teams again the rest of the way. Indeed, of their 15 series after this week’s Rockies series, just two – TWO – come against teams with losing records (Rays and Mets). The end of the year is particularly rough, as the Cubs go Orioles, Cardinals, Reds, Brewers, Pirates, Blue Jays, Pirates, Reds, Dodgers, Cardinals, Brewers. Maybe the Cubs will sink further than I thought.
- A fun read from Mark Gonzales on the Cubs’ 2015 draft preparations, which are already well underway.
- A fantastic read at Grantland on the Diamondbacks’ proclivity to do dangerous things with baseballs, and the need for MLB to step in. I mentioned my thoughts on the subject yesterday in the Bullets.
- Dave Cameron digs into the cost of a win at the Trade Deadline (as opposed to the cost in free agency).
- SCardenfreude: Cardinals players are still privately perturbed by the organization trading away Allen Craig at the deadline, and some don’t like the way Oscar Taveras goes about his business, whatever that means.