After two consecutive victories over the Milwaukee Brewers this weekend, the Chicago Cubs are inching closer to clinching a playoff berth for the fifth time in six seasons.
The Cubs currently hold a four and a half game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the Central Division, putting them in position to capture their first division title since 2017 if they can hold on.
Here is a recap of where things currently stand for the Cubs in the division race:
The Cubs’ Magic Number: 9
Currently, the Cubs’ magic number to clinch a playoff berth stands at 9, meaning that any combination of nine Cubs victories and Brewers losses would earn them a ticket to the postseason.
The Brewers are currently the ninth-seeded team in the National League, with eight teams slated to make the playoffs this year. The three division champions will make the postseason, along with the second place teams from each of the three divisions and two other wild card entries.
The Brewers are technically tied with the Colorado Rockies, but own the tiebreaker thanks to a better intra-divisional record.
The Cubs’ magic number to clinch the Central Division title, and a top-three seed in the postseason, currently sits at 12 over the St. Louis Cardinals.
If the Season Ended Today….
Speaking of the Cardinals, if the season ended today, that is who the Cubs would face in a best-of-three series at Wrigley Field in the last week of September. The Cardinals, currently in second place in the NL Central, are the current holders of the sixth seed in the league, meaning they would face the third-seeded Cubs in the first round.
The Cubs are just a half-game behind the Atlanta Braves for the second seed, but trail the Los Angeles Dodgers by five and a half games for the top seed, meaning that “home-field advantage” is likely out of reach for Chicago.
The Cubs are off Monday and Thursday this week, and will face the Cleveland Indians in a two-game series at Wrigley Field beginning on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals are set to take on the Brewers in a five-game series beginning Monday at Miller Park. The two teams will play doubleheaders on both Monday and Wednesday, meaning that the Cubs will be watching that series very closely.
The Cubs don’t play Milwaukee or St. Louis again during the regular season.