Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

kyle schwarber chicago cubs featureOne of the most fun parts of baseball’s All Star Break (which hasn’t actually started yet) is the futures game, and that game is this afternoon.

Kyle Schwarber is not only the Cubs’s contribution to the US team lineup, he is also deemed by to have the best power in this group of very notable prospects. When you look at the rosters, that is no small compliment.

Joining Schwarber on the US team will be the Cubs’ best pitching prospect, Carl Edwards Jr. Given the makeup of the US pitching staff, Edwards has a fair chance of being the closer.

The Futures Game gets underway at 2:00 PM CT from Cincinnati and will be followed by a celebrity softball game that features former Cub Andre Dawson.

You can watch the Futures Game on MLB Network or

Standings Watch

Iowa : 47-43, 3rd place.

Not much has changed in the Pacific Coast League American Northern division. Oklahoma City still leads by a wide margin, the Cubs and Omaha are still dueling for second place (Omaha has it by two games for now), and Colorado Springs remains really far behind.

The Triple A All Star break coincides with the major league variety, so Iowa has the first half of this week off. When they resume on Thursday, they will be at home for a series against Memphis.

Tennessee : 7-8, 3rd place.

Thanks to a very hot start to the second half by Birmingham, Tennessee already finds themselves five games out of first despite being just one game back of even.

Next week they get another shot at Birmingham, but first they have some games against Biloxi and a road trip to Montogmery to keep them occupied.

Myrtle Beach : 6-10, 4th place.

Myrtle Beach has not gotten off to a great start in the second half, but despite their record they are only four games back. Thanks to their success in the first half their playoff ticket is assured, but it would be nice to see them recover and return to their league-leading winning ways.

This week they wrap up a home series against Carolina, and then come north for four games against Potomac.

South Bend : 9-8, 4th place.

Second half South Bend has played much better and more consistent baseball than first half South Bend, and the difference shows up in the standings. The Cubs remain one game over .500, and although they are in fourth place, they are just two games out of first.

The three teams ahead of them are Lansing, Fort Wayne, and West Michigan, and starting on Wednesday of this week the Cubs play six straight and nine of twelve against Lansing or West Michigan.

Eugene : 14-9, 1st place

Entering Saturday’s games, Eugene was tied for the best record in the league and held a one game lead over Hillsboro. They also have the best home record in the Northwest (10-3).

This week will we will find out if they really are that good at home as second place Hillsboro comes to visit on Wednesday.

Arizona : 10-6, 2nd place

Despite winning most of their games this week, the Cubs still sit half a game back of the division leading Angels. This week’s opponents will include the White Sox, Royals, and Diamondbacks.

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