Just after the All-Star Break, the Chicago Cubs went on an absolute tear, winning six straight, before ultimately kicking the second half off with a stellar 13-3 record against the Orioles, Braves, Cardinals, White Sox, and Brewers.
Of course, of those five teams, only two have winning records as of today, which means the Cubs had a fairly easy start to the second half.
After those games, however, the Cubs hosted the Arizona Diamondbacks (one of the best teams in baseball) and are now hosting the Washington Nationals (one of the other best teams in baseball) at Wrigley Field. Their breezy 16-game start to the second half, then, was followed up with a really tough six-game stretch – one in which they’ve already lost three out of four games.
Fortunately, it seems, things are about to get a whole lot easier:
— FOX Sports Midwest (@FSMidwest) August 1, 2017
As you can see, the Cubs’ .476 strength of schedule the rest of the way will be the second easiest in all of baseball (and, as you can tell by the date of that tweet, that was before the Cubs played the Diamondbacks this week). Indeed, it’s just one tick below the Cardinals.
That’s a really significant revelation for a team that’s clinging to a 1.5 game in the NL Central and bought a fair amount at the deadline.
And in case you’re looking for a bit of reference, the Cubs have had played against a .498 strength of schedule up until this point. And while that’s just the 20th hardest schedule for any team in baseball this season, it’s well above the .476 mark they’ll get the rest of the way.
So, you know, this is good news, Cubs fans, because getting to the postseason is the only thing that matters. For one, it would guarantee the Cubs their third straight NLDS appearance (well, assuming the Cubs get to the postseason by way of winning the NL Central), and for another, once you’re actually there, anything can happen.
It’s no skin off my back if an easier strength of schedule helps the Cubs sneak into that coin flip of a playoff tournament. By any means necessary.