Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Cubs wins

Now that the Cubs have hit 26 games over .500, I thought it would be appropriate to look back on the recent schedule, and to look ahead to what remains.

With 42 games remaining, the Cubs are 73-47.  Over the course of the season, the Cubs have a .726 winning percentage at home - that's 118 wins over 162 games, folks.  On the road, however, the Cubs haven't been so good.  They're 28-30, which projects out to 78 wins in 162 games.  In their defense, however, here's the road records of every other possible playoff team:

Rays 27-30
Red Sox 28-35
Yankees 28-31
White Sox 26-33
Twins 26-31
Angels 38-21
Mets 28-33
Phillies 32-29
Marlins 29-30
Brewers 34-28
Cardinals 34-28
D-Backs 28-33
Dodgers 26-32

It's not exactly a who's-who of dominating teams.  In fact, we can segment it down to four teams: the Brewers, Cardinals, Phillies, and Angels.  These are the only four teams in all of Major League Baseball to have winning road records at this time, and only the Angels look outright scary on the road.

Then again, the Angels play in a division in which the second-place Rangers are 61-60.  Contrast that with the Cubs, whose second - and third! - place division rivals would be at the top of half the divisions in baseball.  

For those reasons and more, I'm not worried about the Cubs and their mediocre road record.  My concern decreases additionally when we look at the Cubs road record since the All Star Break: 9-4.  

The Cubs hardly have an easy schedule here on out, but they're playing like that isn't a concern to them.  I already mentioned that they have 42 games remaining, they play 12 more in total against the Cardinals and Brewers - a sweet 29% - including half of those games in their opponent's home ballparks.  I mention this figure not to worry you, but instead because I believe that the Cubs very strongly control their own destiny.  Short of being routed by them, it will be difficult-if-not-nearly-impossible for either team to gain ground on the Cubs.

In fact, I'll take it a step further.  With the way Chicago has been playing, with their remaining schedule ahead of them, and with the momentum that they've been gaining, I think it is well within the realm of possibility that they will win 100 this season.  It's not a big deal if they do, apart from our natural fascination with that lovely, round number - and all Cubs fans have to be fascinated, if not disgusted with it by now - but it does appear to be a strongly possible event.  But as I mentioned yesterday, what's more important is entering the playoffs with the best record in the National League.  

After all, not many teams are good on the road this year, and I would have to guess that no playoff rival wants to play the majority of their October games in Wrigley Field.   

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