MLB Standings: Cubs' playoff chances entering final 12 games originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Chicago Cubs are in the midst of a five-game losing streak and have lost 8-of-10 games, and while things certainly feel bleak, the team is still very much in the thick of the playoff race.
In fact, as the Cubs enter play on Tuesday, they are actually in a playoff spot, owning the third wild card spot in the National League by percentage points over the Cincinnati Reds.
That being said, the Cubs will need to turn things around dramatically in order to secure that playoff spot in coming days, as their offense has sputtered and their starting pitching has begun to falter down the stretch.
Here are the Central Division standings:
Cubs: 78-72 (6 GB)
Reds: 79-73 (6 GB)
Needless to say, the Cubs’ prospects of winning the division are grim at this point. The Brewers hold a six-game lead, and would own a tiebreaker over the Cubs if Chicago fails to sweep them in the final series of the season in Milwaukee.
Here are the current standings in the National League Wild Card race:
Marlins: 78-73 (0.5 GB)
Giants: 76-74 (2 GB)
The Cubs are currently tied with the Reds, but hold a narrow advantage due to having a superior winning percentage, having played two fewer games than their Central Division rivals.
The Marlins have played one more game than the Cubs, and have one more loss than the North Siders.
Both the Reds and Marlins own tiebreakers over the Cubs, so if one of those teams ends up tied with Chicago at the conclusion of the regular season, then they would qualify for the postseason over the North Siders.
The one team the Cubs hold a tiebreaker over is the San Francisco Giants.
What are the Cubs’ playoff chances?
According to Fangraphs, the Cubs currently have a 45.8% chance of qualifying for the playoffs, which puts them behind the Phillies and Diamondbacks but slightly ahead of the Reds and Marlins in that category.
On Sept. 6, the Cubs’ playoff chances were at 92% after their sweep of the Giants at Wrigley Field.
Who will the Cubs face down the stretch?
The Cubs are coming up on two final home series to wrap up their season, with the Rockies and Pirates coming to the Friendly Confines. Both clubs are well out of playoff contention, and while the Cubs have had a good run against the Pirates this season, they did lose two-of-three to the Rockies at Coors Field last week.
After that, the Cubs travel to Atlanta to face the Braves and to Milwaukee to battle the Brewers. Both teams could have their playoff seeding locked up by the time they face the Cubs, meaning that some interesting roster and rotation decisions could be made as they get set for the postseason.