Fun With Numbers
In light of Rob's most recent post, I thought I'd share a few stats with you good folks.
Obviously, the season is not over yet, and we've learned from hard experience that no lead is safe. But, at the moment, the Chicago Cubs are 76-48 with 38 games remaining. They hold a 5.5 game lead on the Brewers. More impressive than that, the next closest team to the Cubs in the NL are actually the Cardinals, who are 7.5 games out. In the loss column, the first place Mets trail the Cubs by 8, and the first place D-Backs/Dodgers trail them by 12.
If the Cubs play .500 ball in the remaining 38 games of the season, then they will finish with a 95-67 record.
To overtake the Cubs, Milwaukee, who plays 37 more games this year, will need to go 25-12, or play at a .676 clip just to overtake the Cubs if they finish .500!
To keep the Cubs out of the playoffs entirely, the Cardinals, who play 35 more games, would need to go 26-9, or play at a .743 clip.
If the Cubs play .500 ball, to overtake them for the best record in the NL, the Mets would need to go 28-10, or .737 ball.
The D-Backs/Dodgers would have to go 32-6 to finish with a better record than the Cubs.
Now, for a few other fun facts.
In their 38 remaining games, the Cubs play the following teams:
3 vs. the Nationals (44-81) at Wrigley, the Cubs are 1-2 vs. the Nationals
6 vs. the Reds (55-70), 3 home, 3 away, Cubs are 5-4 so far vs. Cincy
3 vs. Pittsburgh (55-69), at Pittsburgh, the Cubs are 11-4 vs. the Pirates this season
6 vs. Houston (63-61) 3 home, 3 away, the Cubs are 6-6 so far vs. the Astros
4 vs. Philly (66-58), at Wrigley, the Cubs are 1-2 vs. the Phillies this season
4 vs. NY Mets (68-56) at Shea Stadium, the Cubs are 2-0 vs. the Mets this season
6 vs. St. Louis (70-57) 3 home, 3 away, the Cubs are 5-4 vs. the Cards this season
6 vs. Milwaukee (71-54) 3 home, 3 away, the Cubs are 6-4 vs. Milwaukee this season
In other words, they play 12 games against teams currently under .500, and 26 games against winning squads. They are currently 17-10 against the losing teams on their schedule, but they are also 20-16 against the winning teams.
It's all a crap shoot, and while we clearly can't predict with accuracy how the Cubs will actually finish the year, even if we only play the averages - which fail to take into account things like the absences of star players, strange slumps, etc. - then the Cubs could be expected to go 22-16 the rest of the way. That would put them at 98-64.
Me, I still think they're going to win 100, but I don't care if they squeak into the playoffs with 90 wins, so long as they win 11 after September 28th.