Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

wrigley scoreboard featureThat would have been a much more satisfying headline to write if the Cubs hadn’t let yesterday’s game slip away.

But I suppose it’s still good.

Yes, all of the Cardinals (4-3 to the Nationals), Pirates (9-4 to the Brewers), and Giants (2-1 to the Dodgers) lost yesterday, which is great news for the Cubs, especially the latter two.

The Cubs remain 10.5 games behind the Cardinals in the Central, and 4.5 games behind the Pirates.

Here’s where I remind you that the Giants have a total cupcake schedule from here on out, so it’s not entirely comforting to think about their losses this week – paired with the Cubs’ losses – and say, “Cool, Cubs didn’t lose any of their buffer!” In reality, the Cubs probably needed to build up that buffer as much as possible. Hopefully their current 6.5 game lead will be enough to hold up.

The good news is that the Cubs’ magic number in the Wild Card race is just 24, with 30 games left to play. Any combination of Cubs wins and Giants losses that adds up to 24 locks the Cubs into the playoffs. Even if the Giants finish blazing hot against their weak schedule, you can hopefully book them for at least 10 losses. That would mean the Cubs need only go 14-16 over the final 30 to get the second Wild Card spot.

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