It’s been circled on calendars for weeks, but the Chicago Cubs will finally get their crack at the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday in the first of three contests at Wrigley Field.
The Brewers enter the series with a four-game lead over the Cubs after racking up eight straight victories, solidifying themselves atop the Central Division.
The Cubs meanwhile are fresh off a 5-2 road trip, and are aiming to make a statement of their own in the rivalry series.
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Needless to say, the series is the first of four straight massive series for the Cubs. After Milwaukee, they will hit the road for four games against Cincinnati, whom they’re battling for a wild card spot.
The Cubs will then head home for three games against the Giants and four against the Diamondbacks. Those two clubs are both currently in the thick of the wild card race, with the Diamondbacks holding a 1.5 game lead on the Giants and Reds.
Here is how the standings shape up prior to the start of the Brewers-Cubs series:
Cubs 69-61 (4 GB)
Reds 68-64 (6 GB)
And here are the wild card standings:
Giants 67-63 (1.5 GB)
Reds 68-64 (1.5 GB)
Marlins 66-65 (3 GB)
Since the Cubs currently have a two-game lead over the Reds and Giants in the wild card, we’ll focus our attention on the scenarios at play in this series with the Brewers.
If the Cubs Sweep
If the Cubs were to sweep the Brewers in all three games, they would be jus tone game behind in the division standings with an equal number of games played.
If the Cubs Win Two-of-Three
If the Cubs can win the series, they would gain one game on the Brewers, leaving them three out in the division with three more games to play in the last weekend of the season.
If the Brewers Win Two-of-Three
If the Brewers win the series, they would go up five games on the Cubs. The Brewers’ magic number to capture the division crown would drop to 27.
If the Brewers Sweep
If the Brewers can win all three games against the Cubs, they would balloon their division lead to seven games, and they could potentially allow the Reds to leapfrog Chicago ahead of a four-game series in Cincinnati this weekend.