Under normal circumstances, when a team goes 20-4, as the Cubs have in their last 24 games, that team is probably going to fly up the standings.
But the NL Central is not normal, and, during that streak, the Cubs have passed exactly zero teams. Moreover, they’ve gained only a few games on the Pirates and Cardinals, who still stand 3.5 and 6.5 games ahead of the Cubs, respectively.
The Cubs would lead the NL East by 4.5 games. The Cubs would lead the NL West by 5.0 games. The Cubs would lead the AL West by 3.5 games. The Cubs would lead the AL East by 3.5 games. The Cubs would trail by 3.5 games in the AL Central, but at least they’d be in second place.
The Cubs have done what they’ve done despite playing a disproportionate schedule against those two teams sitting above them in the Central. This has been a very good team in a very unlucky year to be a very good team.
At least the Cubs remain healthily in playoff position. With the Giants off yesterday, the Cubs’ dramatic win gives them a 6.5 game edge for the final Wild Card spot.