It’s been only a few days since I last did this schedule comparison, but it seems appropriate to do it again as the Cubs nudge closer to the top wild card spot, as well as stay within range of the N.L. Central lead.
Here are the remaining schedules for the Cubs and the teams they are competing against for postseason spots.
Cubs: 17 games (6 home, 11 road)
Home: Pirates (3), Rockies (3)
Road: at Rockies (2), at Diamondbacks (3), at Braves (3), at Brewers (3)
On paper, the Cubs appear to have a tough schedule. But they have been winning, both home and road, for quite some time. Since they were 26-36, 10 games under .500 June 8, they are 52-31. And since July 18, they are 35-17, the best record in the N.L.
The Braves clinched a postseason spot over the weekend and their magic number to clinch the N.L. East title is 4. By the time the Cubs play them, the Braves could be resting players for the postseason.
Everything could come down to the final three games in Milwaukee. Speaking of whom...
Brewers: 19 games (12 home, 7 road)
Home: Marlins (3), Nationals (3), Cardinals (3), Cubs (3)
Road: at Cardinals (4), at Marlins (3)
The Brewers would seem to have an advantage with a home-heavy schedule, and they crushed the Marlins 12-0 Monday night in Milwaukee.
It would appear that the Cardinals will have something to say about who will win the N.L. Central, with seven games left vs. Milwaukee. The teams have split six games so far this year.
Phillies: 18 games (9 home, 9 road)
Home: Braves (2), Mets (4), Pirates (3)
Road: at Cardinals (3), at Braves (3), at Mets (3)
Two teams that were supposed to contend this year but didn’t, the Cardinals and Mets, will have much to say about the Phillies’ postseason position, as 10 of the Phillies’ 18 remaining games will be against those two teams. The Phillies are 2-4 vs. the Mets so far this year, and swept a series vs. the Cardinals two weeks ago in Philadelphia, outscoring them 22-3.
For the Cubs to overtake the Phillies for the top wild card spot, they’d have to actually finish ahead of them, as the Phillies own the tiebreaker.
Diamondbacks: 17 games (8 home, 9 road)
Home: Cubs (3), Giants (2), Astros (3)
Road: at Mets (3), at Yankees (3), at White Sox (3)
The D-backs have contending teams left on their home schedule, but the road schedule has teams playing out the string, particularly the woeful White Sox.
The series this weekend between the Cubs and D-backs at Chase Field will tell us a lot about where the wild cards finish.
Marlins: 18 games (9 home, 9 road)
Home: Braves (3), Mets (3), Brewers (3)
Road: at Brewers (3), at Mets (3), at Pirates (3)
The Marlins got crushed by the Brewers Monday. That helped the Cubs to some extent, but Miami winning games over Milwaukee would be even more helpful.
The Marlins hold the wild-card tiebreaker over the Cubs.
Giants: 18 games (8 home, 10 road)
Home: Guardians (2), Padres (3), Dodgers (3)
Road: at Rockies (4), at Diamondbacks (2), at Dodgers (4)
The Giants’ biggest rival, the Dodgers, will have a lot to say about whether San Francisco can make the postseason. Currently, the Giants and Marlins are tied, 1½ games behind the D-backs for the final wild-card spot.
The Dodgers have won four of six from the Giants so far this year. The Giants have also been bad on the road, just 32-39.
Reds: 17 games (6 home, 11 road)
Home: Twins (3), Pirates (3)
Road: at Tigers (3), at Mets (3), at Guardians (2), at Cardinals (3)
The Reds have the longest way to go, two games behind the last wild-card spot and with two teams in front of them.
They also have the toughest schedule, with 11 of their 17 games on the road, though Cincinnati is 38-32 away from home this year.
Unlike all the other teams listed here, their schedule doesn’t have them playing any team twice. Interestingly, they also have the most interleague games remaining, eight in all, and the Reds are 24-14 vs. A.L. teams so far this year.
Presuming the Cubs and Phillies hold on to the top two wild card spots, who will be the third?
This poll is closed