The Cubs might be sellers here in July, but they enter the second half with playoff odds that are more than 50% higher than their division rivals in St. Louis. Of course, the Cardinals have just a 2.4% likelihood of making the postseason, so we’re not talking about any legit optimism here. The Cubs are at a mere 3.7%, down a point from last week.
Meanwhile, the Reds are making something of a run and now find themselves four games behind the Brewers after closing the first half with a three-game winning streak to get them to 8-2 in their last 10 games. The Cubs went 2-8 in that stretch to fall four games back of the Reds and currently sit in a tie with the Cardinals for third in the division.
The odds and standings could change pretty dramatically in the next two weeks, as the Cubs open the second half against the worst team in baseball (Diamondbacks) while the Cards face the best (Giants). Then the rivals meet for four games in St. Louis before the Cards go to Cincinnati for three and Cleveland for two. The Cubs get to host the Dbacks for another three and the Reds for four, so getting back to second by the end of the month isn’t out of the question.
Neither is having an entirely new roster as Jed Hoyer looks to wheel and deal ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. We’ve already seen Joc Pederson moved to Atlanta in exchange for first base prospect Bryce Ball and it’s entirely likely several others will be dealt as their contracts expire. Whatever happens, I’ll be back again next week to check in on how the odds have shifted.