The Chicago Cubs were riding high at the beginning of September, but a recent losing streak has dealt a massive blow to their hopes of reaching the postseason.
The Cubs have now lost five games in a row and eight of their last 10 contests, and for the first time since Aug. 20, they are no longer in a playoff spot in the National League.
Technically, the Cubs are tied with the Miami Marlins for the third wild card spot with a record of 78-72 on the season, but they lose the tiebreaker to Miami based on head-to-head matchups during the regular season.
The Cubs’ playoff chances, according to FanGraphs, currently sit at 46.3% as they await their series with the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley Field, and that represents a breathtaking downward spiral in recent weeks.
On Sept. 6, when the Cubs had just finished off a sweep of the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field, the North Siders had a 92.4% chance of reaching the postseason, according to FanGraphs.
Just one week ago on Sept. 11, the Cubs’ playoff chances were still at 88%, even after losing three consecutive games to the Diamondbacks at the Friendly Confines, but in the days since, they have lost five-of-six games and have seen their wild card lead completely evaporate.
The lone bit of optimism for the Cubs to hold onto is that their schedule this week is favorable, as the lowly Colorado Rockies and Pittsburgh Pirates visit Chicago. Their second-to-last series is against the Atlanta Braves, who are closing in on wrapping up the top-seed in the National League playoffs. That could benefit the Cubs as the Braves potentially ease off the gas and give players days off, but with a break coming after the conclusion of their series, they may still field their normal lineups and rotations in that series.
Finally, the Cubs wrap up the 2023 season with three games against the Brewers, who currently own a 6.5-game lead in the National League Central and who have a magic number of just seven. All of that kind of goes out the window with a chance to eliminate a rival from postseason contention, but the Brewers could also rest starting pitchers to set their playoff rotation, as they’ll have to host a National League Wild Card series at American Family Field.