With the Chicago Cubs’ dramatic series-clinching victory over the San Francisco Giants yesterday, the team’s Magic Number to clinch the NL Central is down to just 11. Any combination of Cubs wins and St. Louis Cardinals losses that adds up to 11 will finish things off. Each team has seven games to play before facing each other next in St. Louis next week. So, well, that could be a very interesting series.
In the interim, the Cardinals did finally win a game yesterday, keeping them within 16.5 games of the Cubs in the NL Central. (*snicker*)
The Cardinals hold the second Wild Card spot by a game over the Mets, who also won yesterday. The Cardinals are 1.5 games behind the Giants for the top Wild Card spot. The Pirates (3.5 games back) and Marlins (4.0) remain in the conversation, but they’re going to need to get mighty hot.
The Pirates will have a good shot to make up ground this week, though, as they start a three-game set against the Cardinals today.
Those Giants, by the way, fell to 3.0 games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West. Those Dodgers are about to get a big boost, as Clayton Kershaw (back injury) is scheduled to finally return this Friday. That could shake up the tight Cy Young race, too.
Meanwhile, the Nationals lost yesterday, which gives the Cubs a sizable 9.0-game lead for the best record in the NL.