The Chicago Cubs were not swept out of their home series against the Colorado Rockies as they took the finale before their long road stretch. 31-31 is not the record we expected from the defending World Champions coming off their long-awaited glory in 2016, but considering how terrible the rest of the division is, the Cubs are far from done as we are barely into the middle of June. Even the current leader Milwaukee Brewers are barely a game ahead of the Cubs, with the rest of the division below .500 on the season thus far.
With exactly 100 games left, we have to address many questions to which we simply do not have the answers until the players actually get into games and show what they have. Perhaps it has something to do with the incredibly hot starts for many of the Cubs’ opponents to begin the season, including the National League best record in the Rockies. Perhaps it has to do with a “sophomore” (or even third year) slump for many of the core that won the World Series last year, which we tried to address on the Dreamcast.
The point is that there ARE still 100 games left, and we’ve seen multiple stretches over the past two seasons where the Cubs have looked like they were toast before making the playoffs. Even before Sunday’s getaway win, the Cubs had the best odds in the division to make the postseason. I assume many would not have expected that, but the Cubs are still projected to be the best team in the Central, and I remain confident that they will return to the postseason despite their extended struggles. As of this writing, the FanGraphs odds had the Cubs at 75.5% to win the Central and 83% to at least get a playoff spot. A win on Sunday suggests those odds should go up by the next update.
It was nice to see Addison Russell get a home run, even if it was just a basket shot, to put the Cubs ahead. Russell, of course, has had a rough few weeks both professionally and personally. We’ll try not to judge too much, but this does make for an awkward situation to figure out whether to cheer loudly or not at times. On the other hand, the struggles that Kyle Schwarber has faced lately seemed so far away after he too hit a long ball so far away.
The Cubs have 17 road games over the next 20, so here’s hoping that they get back on track. If not, after that stretch, they still have 80 games left. And again, they did just win the World Series, so maybe that’s why I’m not so displeased as I would have been. These guys deserve our faith, and I believe they will reward us.