The Chicago Cubs are trying to get back into the postseason after missing the playoffs in the 2019 season, and they're inching closer to that goal this week.
The Cubs, who will start a two-game series against the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday, had made the playoffs in four straight years before missing out on October baseball last year, but it is highly likely that they'll be returning to the postseason this season as they still hold a four game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the Central Division.
Here is where the Cubs stand heading into action Tuesday.
The Cubs’ Magic Number: 8
The Cubs didn’t even play on Monday, but they gained ground in their chase for a playoff spot and in their question to capture the National League Central Division.
Thanks to the St. Louis Cardinals’ loss to the Milwaukee Brewers in the opening game of a doubleheader Monday, the Cubs’ magic number to clinch the Central dropped to 12 with less than two weeks to go in the regular season. Losses by the Giants and Rockies also helped the Cubs, as they moved closer to locking up a playoff berth.
If the Season Ended Today….
The Cubs are now in a tie with the Atlanta Braves for the second-best record among division-leaders in the National League, but own the tiebreaker over the Braves thanks to a better intra-divisional record, meaning that if the season ended today, the Cubs would earn the second seed in the postseason, while Atlanta would take the third seed.
As a result, the Cubs would play the seventh-seeded team in the National League, with the Philadelphia Phillies currently occupying that role. The Phillies are tied with the Cardinals for sixth, but St. Louis holds the tiebreaker over the Phils, meaning Bryce Harper, JT Realmuto and company would head to Chicago for the Wild Card round.
The Cubs will start up a two-game series against the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field, while the Cardinals and Brewers will continue their series at Miller Park.
The Braves will continue their series against the Baltimore Orioles, while the eighth-seeded Giants will take on the Seattle Mariners in the Pacific Northwest.
The Phillies will take on the New York Mets Tuesday, with Jake Arrieta on the hill for Philadelphia.