Any time a number involving the Cubs reaches 10 – days left until pitchers and catchers report, number of homers at third base, etc. – it’s become cliche to use a picture of the Cubs Hall of Famer’s jersey to indicate that 10. But it’s a cliche that I can’t get enough of:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 5, 2016
That 10 right there is the Cubs’ Magic Number to clinch the NL Central, after another win yesterday. Any combination of Cubs wins and Cardinals losses that add up to 10 from here on out will do the trick.
The Cardinals won again yesterday, beating up on the careening Pirates (they haven’t won since that double-comeback marathon loss to the Cubs a week ago). So, the Cardinals are still 16.5 games back of the Cubs in the Central, and still hold the second Wild Card spot by a game over the Mets, and now 4.5 games over the Pirates, who are probably toast if they don’t win these next two against the Cardinals (and even then, it’ll be uphill). The Marlins are also fading, having lost 9 of their last 10.
The Mets continue to hang around, beating the Reds yesterday, and with a really weak schedule the rest of the way, you can’t count them out. The Giants, who lost yesterday, are now just 0.5 games up for the top Wild Card spot. They had the best record in baseball at midseason, and have had the worst record in baseball since then.
The Nationals beat the Braves yesterday to stay 9.0 games behind the Cubs for the top record in the National League.