This isn’t the article I wanted to write about the upcoming schedules for the N.L. playoff contenders the Cubs are competing with. I had hoped the Cubs would still be in the N.L. Central race and competing for the top wild card spot.
Now, as Sara Sanchez told you earlier this morning, the Cubs are close to being out of the postseason picture entirely if the season had ended today, since they don’t have the tiebreaker against anyone still in it — except for the Giants.
So the Cubs are going to basically have to finish a game AHEAD of anyone they’d like to ace out for a postseason berth.
Here’s who the teams are playing from today through season’s end. For this installment, I am listing the games in the order they are being played. Home games in boldface.
Cubs: 12 games (6 home, 6 road)
Pirates (3), Rockies (3), at Braves (3), at Brewers (3)
This homestand looks “easy,” but nothing’s ever easy and no team should approach these games that way. The Cubs are 9-1 against the Pirates this year, though, and that should give them some confidence. They lost two of three against the Rockies in Denver last week, but the Rockies are awful on the road (22-53) and, in fact, are 8-20 on the road since the All-Star break.
The Cubs played the Braves well at Wrigley last month, but they are a very good team — even though Atlanta is currently on a four-game losing streak. And the Cubs could easily have swept the Brewers at Wrigley North in July, and have played them even (5-5) this year so far.
Brewers: 12 games (6 home, 6 road)
at Cardinals (3), at Marlins (3), Cardinals (3), Cubs (3)
So... in addition to suddenly becoming big Cardinals fans, here’s a question for the Cubs fan: With the Brewers likely winning the division, do we want them to beat the Marlins? I’d say probably yes.
The Cardinals defeated the Brewers 1-0 Monday.
Phillies: 12 games (7 home, 5 road)
at Braves (2), Mets (4), Pirates (3), at Mets (3)
The Phillies defeated the Braves Monday night. As noted above, that was Atlanta’s fourth straight loss, matching a season high. Despite that loss to Philadelphia, when the Brewers also lost Monday, the Braves clinched home field in the division series round.
The only other thing I can say here is: Let’s go Mets!
Diamondbacks: 11 games (5 home, 6 road)
Giants (2), at Yankees (3), at White Sox (3), Astros (3)
Here’s hoping having to travel three time zones hurts the D-backs as they play the Yankees in New York. The series against the Astros will be important for both teams as Houston is still vying for the A.L. West title.
The Giants could also help the Cubs out here.
Marlins: 11 games (5 home, 6 road)
Mets (2), Brewers (3), at Mets (3), at Pirates (3)
As noted above, at this point it’s probably better for the Cubs if the Brewers beat the Marlins.
Also, once again: Let’s go Mets! They defeated the Marlins Monday and are 6-2 against Miami so far this year.
Reds: 10 games (5 home, 5 road)
Twins (2), Pirates (3), at Guardians (2), at Cardinals (3)
The Twins are still working on clinching the A.L. Central, so those games are important to Minnesota. The Reds won the first game of their series Monday. Otherwise this schedule appears “easy,” and the Reds have been better on the road (42-34) than at home (37-39). So, who knows?
The Reds have the fewest remaining games of any of the contenders listed here.
Giants: 12 games (6 home, 6 road)
at Diamondbacks (2), at Dodgers (4), Padres (3), Dodgers (3)
Giants/Dodgers games are always intense no matter how good either team is, much like the Cubs/Cardinals rivalry. The Giants hold a 4-2 edge so far this year.
At this point, as long as the Cubs are winning, the best result for the two SF/ARI games would probably be to have the Giants win. The Giants have not been good on the road (33-42), but are 6-5 vs. Arizona so far this year and took three of four from them in San Francisco at the beginning of August.
How many wins will the Cubs finish with for the 2023 regular season?
This poll is closed
87 or more
81 or fewer