Photo Credit: The Athletic
Even though the Cubs just swept the Brewers in a three-game weekend series, I’m worried about the way this season may end. With just about 50 games to play in the MLB regular season, crunch time is starting to kick in and the Cubs seem to be in limbo. Yes, they are 11 games above .500 and coming off a decent run since the All-Star break that saw the team go 13-8, but that doesn’t mean I am still not worried. What concerns me most are the injuries that are mounting and the strength of the NL Central Division.
Injuries are always an issue with a season as long as the MLB’s but losing two of a team’s top players right as the final stretch is tough to overcome. Catcher Wilson Contreras is out with yet another hamstring injury, continuing an injury trend that has gone beyond concerning at this point and Kris Bryant is day to day with what manager Joe Madden calls “a little bit of a knee thing.” Regardless of how long both players take to return to full health and form, losing two top bats is a tough pill to swallow, especially with a lot of games left in the NL Central. Which leads me to my next worry.
The NL Central is absolutely brutal. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers are all within 4 games of the division lead and the Reds and Pirates aren’t mathematically out of contention yet. Though there are a lot of games to go, it is likely that the winner of the Central Division will only be a dozen or so games above .500 while teams such as the Yankees, Astros or Dodgers will win their divisions upwards of 30 games over .500. Even without injuries, it was going to be a challenge for the Cubs to stay ahead in the Central with the Cardinals and Brewers fighting tooth and nail for the division title and the two wild-card spots.
There are only two months to go in the MLB season and the Cubs have a lot of work to regain my confidence going into the postseason if there even is a postseason. If the Cubs can get hot as they have in the past, overcome the injuries to Kris Bryant and Wilson Contreras and win the NL Central Division title, I’ll be pretty confident the Cubs can make a run through the playoffs.