With the Cardinals off, the Cubs actually made up a half-game with their win last night, leaving them a traditional 4.0 games back in the NL Central (four in the win column, four in the loss column). The target for the Cubs should be to get that down to 2.0 games before their four game series at Wrigley Field in nine days, because then, a series win would leave the two tied atop the standings.
The Cardinals are about to head to Colorado to play a Rockies team that is still reasonably tough at home, so at least there’s that.
Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks finally lost one, with the Mets getting a couple more homers from Pete Alonso (that guy, man). With the Cubs win, the pushed them 2.5 back from the WC2 spot, and actually, they got passed by the Brewers, who beat the Marlins. So it’s the Brewers now immediately behind the Cubs, 2.0 games out of the WC2 spot. The Phillies lost, so they’re now 3.0 games back, and the Mets remain a very outside chance at 4.0 games back.
Like the Cardinals, the Nationals did not play, so the Cubs improved to 2.5 games back of the top Wild Card spot (three in the loss column).
As we discussed yesterday, the remaining schedule slightly favors the Cubs in the Wild Card race, so – at least in terms of the schedule – they’ll have no excuses if they aren’t able to make the lead hold up.