Quantifying Hope: Cubs Have 41% Playoff Odds, Still Trail Brewers by Wide Margin

The Cubs woke up Friday morning in sole possession of the NL Central lead and they’ll be holding at least a tie when they wake up Saturday. That’s the kind of woke culture we can all support, amirite? But while their run of success since the start of May has been enough to overcome the Brewers in the standings, it hasn’t gotten them close to their northerly neighbors when it comes to postseason odds.

We can chalk a lot of that up to the confirmation bias present in any college sports poll, since the Brewers opened the season with a division-leading 42.2% odds. That’s nearly 20 points ahead of the Cubs and never have the twain met since, with the closest point coming on June 2 — the greatest day of the year — when the Cubs got to within 2.7 points.

The other factor here is that the Brewers simply have an easier schedule and are projected to win at a .524 clip the rest of the way versus the Cubs’ .496 rate. That seems a little bearish, though it’s got nothing to do with the North Siders’ ursine nickname. After finishing up this meat grinder of a June slate, the Cubs finally get to face the dregs of the NL West in July and August. The Brewers don’t necessarily face murderer’s row, but they’ve got a tougher road than they’ve had this month.

Now the Cubs just need to get the bats going again and add pitching by the deadline. Sounds pretty simple, huh?

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