For the first time since May 4th, the Cubs Fangraphs’ odds of winning the NL Central are better than they were on opening day. For the record, that percentage stands at 87.6%, they started the season at 86.4%. The Cardinals currently have the 2nd best odds at 6.9%, the Pirates are third at 2.8%, and the second place Brewers have just a 2.7% chance of winning the division, according to Fangraphs.
With the Cubs odds being that high, with only a 1.5 game lead over the Brewers, we can reasonably conclude that the Cubs could put the Brewers out to pasture with a sweep, or even just a series win this weekend. The Brewers are in dreadful form, in their past ten games, the Brewers are 2-8. Oh, and yesterday, they lost 15-2, in a game that saw them give up back-to-back-to-back-to-back(!) homers and five in one inning. Meanwhile the Cubs are flying high having won 11 of 13, not to mention getting the highly coveted Crosstown Cup back to the North Side. The Cubs, on paper, are a far superior team, but the Brewers will surely be looking at this as a “Alamo” series; at home, desperately needing a series win. Dropping to 4.5 games back as we enter August would surely doom Milwaukee.
The three game set starts tonight at 8:05 pm with lefties Jose Quintana and Brent Suter facing off. On the weekend, the Cubs have Kyle Hendricks taking on Junior Guerra, and John Lackey going against Zach Davies. Some other series this weekend with big play-off implications: Yankees hosting the Rays, Royals visiting the Red Sox, and the Rockies traveling to Washington to face the Nationals.
-Micah Schaffer @ultramicbeam