You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Chicago Cubs Playoff Update: Magic Number, Potential Playoff Opponents

NBC Chicago logo NBC Chicago 9/21/2020 James Neveau
a man standing on a baseball field: CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – SEPTEMBER 19: Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Chicago Cubs reacts after the ground rule double by Max Kepler #26 of the Minnesota Twins during the seventh inning of a game at Wrigley Field on September 19, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) © Getty Images

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – SEPTEMBER 19: Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Chicago Cubs reacts after the ground rule double by Max Kepler #26 of the Minnesota Twins during the seventh inning of a game at Wrigley Field on September 19, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

The Chicago Cubs played their final home series of the regular season over the weekend, but there wasn’t much to celebrate as the team scored just one run and lost both of their games to the Minnesota Twins.

The Cubs, still leading the National League Central Division by three and a half games, head into the final week of the regular season with their playoff destiny very much in their own hands, but they also have plenty of questions to address as this abbreviated season nears its conclusion.

Here is where the Cubs stand heading into play Monday.

Cubs’ Magic Number to Clinch Playoff Berth: 4

The Cubs weren’t able to make a lot of headway over the weekend in their quest to secure a playoff spot, as the St. Louis Cardinals took four games from the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds took two games from the Chicago White Sox.

Despite those setbacks, the Cubs’ magic number to clinch the Central Division stands at just six, and their magic number to clinch a playoff spot stands at four as they head into their final seven games of the regular season.

If the Season Ended Today…

The Cubs’ struggles did not knock them out of the second seed slot in the National League, meaning if the season ended today the Cubs would still face the Philadelphia Phillies in the wild card round at Wrigley Field.

The Cardinals, who will have to play eight games in the season’s final seven days, would face the third-seeded Atlanta Braves, while the red-hot Cincinnati Reds would face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the opening round of the postseason.

The San Francisco Giants and the Milwaukee Brewers are still trying to find some way to get into the postseason, but with the Brewers in fourth place in the Central and the Giants well behind the Dodgers and San Diego Padres in the west, their paths to the postseason are very narrow indeed.

What’s Next

The Cubs start out a four-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday. They’ll need to play well to keep their tiebreaker edge over the Braves, and if they are able to win all four games, it would guarantee them a playoff spot no matter what any other team does.

The Cardinals will have a three-game series against the Royals, then will wrap up the season with a five-game series against the Brewers, including a doubleheader on Friday.

The Braves have a bit of a tough challenge coming up, taking on the Miami Marlins, who are currently the fifth seed in the National League. They’ll then take on the Boston Red Sox to wrap up the season over the weekend.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More From NBC Chicago

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon