It’s long past the point where Cubs fans should exclusively count on other teams to do the team’s dirty work.
The Pirates seem to really have packed it in for the year, and they have looked as lifeless as possible against the Brewers this week, which means the Brewers won again. The Cardinals also won, taking down the Reds in a back and forth affair.
With the Cubs win over Tampa Bay, that means everything stays the same in the standings: Brewers 3.5 games back of the Cubs, Cardinals 6.0 games back of the Cubs. But since another day passed without the Brewers gaining ground, that’s a net gain. And the Cubs’ win pushes the magic number into single digit territory:
Nobody effs with the Cubs Magic Number. pic.twitter.com/yqw9g9ykUy
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) September 20, 2017
The Cubs finish up with the Rays today, and the Brewers finish up with the Pirates. And then it’s time for the big four-game set in Milwaukee. No matter what happens today, that series could decide the NL Central.
Meanwhile, the Rockies lost again, which means the Brewers are within a single game of that second Wild Card spot, and the Cardinals are back to within 3.5 games. Even setting aside the NL Central, that’s a pretty fun race right there.
The Dodgers lost their third in a row, but unless they go on another 11-gamer, they probably won’t fall behind the Nationals for that top seed in the playoffs (which means the Cubs still project to face the Nationals in the NLDS). The Dodgers have a 4.5 game lead on the Nationals.