To say they’re on a tear is most assuredly an understatement. The Chicago Cubs are simply decimating opponents and leaving little to nothing in their wake. The Cubs, now 46-20 in the midst of their 2016 campaign have a commanding lead in their division with 11 days still remaining in June.
The Cubs enter tonight’s game versus the Pittsburgh Pirates having already won the current series and looking to sweep. Up next are the St. Louis Cardinals followed by the Miami Marlins. Not to say the Marlins have no importance, but just for a moment what we’re looking at now is the NL Central.
The Pirates are in a dead spin, spiralling out of control faster than they can look up the proper way to pronounce Jameson Taillon. Individually they aren’t bad players, but as a whole they aren’t coming together. Neither the hitting nor pitching is timely enough to make a difference. Not to mention they desperately miss catcher Francisco Cervelli in their lineup.
In a preseason radio appearance on “The Open Mike Program with Mike Cohen” I did mention the road to the playoffs go through St. Louis. This was in no way playing it up for the crowd or just trying to be politically correct somehow, nor was I trying to stir the pot before the season got rolling. Just as they did last year, the Cardinals look good on paper and are still playing fairly well in 2016. Are they doing as good as anticipated? Probably not, but when you’re in a division with a team that could potentially have 55+ wins by June 30th, how can you compare?
By the end of June the NL Central landscape could end up being all Cubby blue. The Cubs have upcoming dates with the Marlins and Cincinnati Reds whereas the Cardinals will battle the Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals. The Pirates will square off with the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers.
When all is said and done come the beginning of July, the Cardinals could find themselves 15-20 games back. It’s been a while since any of us have seen a baseball juggernaut such as the 2016 Chicago Cubs. Fantastic pitching (.257 team ERA), dependable hitting (+166 run differential), and a manager (considered to be the best in the majors) who pulls it all together. No one knows where this run will end, but this objective observer is going to enjoy every second of it. You should too.