The Chicago Cubs currently own a playoff spot as the final week of the regular season begins, but who they could face in the postseason remains up in the air.
As things stand heading into Monday, the Cubs have a one-game lead over the Miami Marlins in the battle for the final National League wild card spot. They also trail the Arizona Diamondbacks by just one-half game in the fight for the second wild card spot.
The Cubs trail the Phillies by five games for the top wild card spot, but they would need to overtake them since the Phillies own the tiebreaker between the two clubs, requiring the Cubs to go a perfect 6-0 and for the Phillies to go 0-6 in the final week of the campaign.
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With that context in mind, here’s the question on everyone’s mind: who could the Cubs face in the MLB playoffs if they clinch a spot?
Here’s your answer:
If the Cubs Win the Division
Let’s get this one out of the way. The Brewers’ magic number to clinch the division stands at just one entering this week, but that means there is a chance, however small, that the Cubs could still win the Central.
If the Brewers lose out, and if the Cubs win out, then the Cubs would win the Central, and would host the Wild Card series at Wrigley Field beginning on Tuesday, Oct. 3.
In that scenario, the Cubs would almost assuredly face the Brewers as the third wild card team, as Milwaukee has already clinched a playoff berth at this point.
If the Cubs Win the Wild Card
This question expands the field just a little bit. As we’ve said, the Cubs could potentially overtake the Diamondbacks and earn the second wild card berth in the National League. That would mean they’d be on the road for that wild card series, and they would face the top-seeded wild card club, which will most likely be the Phillies.
That series would start at Citizens Bank Ballpark on Oct. 3.
If the Cubs earn the third wild card spot, then they would face the lowest-seeded division winner, and that would be the Milwaukee Brewers, who mathematically cannot catch the Atlanta Braves or Los Angeles Dodgers in the standings.
Both of those teams would earn byes into the Division Series, and the Cubs would face the Brewers in Milwaukee beginning on Oct. 3.