The Cubs are in something of a weird three-team race for the NL Central, where their lead is substantial, but they have two teams chasing them, which makes the lead functionally a little bit smaller (for one example, because those two teams are going to play each other, so they cannot both lose all their remaining games).
But it does mean that days like yesterday can still be good, even when the Cubs lose to one of the teams chasing them. With the Cardinals losing to the Pirates, they once again flip-flop with the Brewers in the standings, which means the Cubs’ magic number with respect to the Brewers is now “the” magic number:
However you think the last name should be said, the magic number is FOUR! pic.twitter.com/EOIfFbl3eo
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) September 24, 2017
(I know it was du-boys, but I always wanted to say du-bwah. Also: ah, the ill-fated Dubois-Hollandsworth platoon in 2005 (Hollandbois!) … seemed like such a good idea at the time. The combined platoon wound up posting an 80ish wRC+, and neither Todd Hollandsworth nor Jason Dubois finished that season with the Cubs.)
The Cardinals stand 5.0 games behind the Cubs, and the Brewers are 4.5 out. So, no matter what happens today, the Cubs are looking at entering the Cardinals series with no worse than a 4.0 game lead on them, and a 3.5 game lead on the Brewers.
Meanwhile, in the Wild Card race, the Rockies lost again, so the Brewers are back to just 1.0 game out. The Cardinals are 1.5 games out.