The Cubs beat up on the Mets again last night, so this was already going to be a mostly positive space this morning.
But, additionally, the erstwhile second place Cardinals are now the third place Cardinals, because they got blanked by the Reds, who are hellbent on spoiling every NL Central contender not named the Cubs. (Thanks, Reds!)
That means the Cubs’ magic number dropped by two last night, down to 15!
The results weren’t perfect, as the Pirates did manage to lose handily to the Brewers, who remain 2.5 games behind the Cubs. The Cardinals are 3.0 games back.
The Dodgers were clearly invigorated by ending their 11-game losing streak, so I’d say they’re back to being a mortal lock to take the top playoff spot in the NL, meaning that they’ll get the winner of the Wild Card Game. Those two teams are currently set to be the Diamondbacks (basically locked in at this point) and the Rockies, who have a 3.0 game lead on the Brewers and a 3.5 game lead on the Cardinals.
The Cubs, should they clinch the Central, would get the Nationals in the NLDS in this scenario.