The month of July represents the top of the hill during the season. Teams begin to shape their path to the postseason. We begin to group teams as buyers and sellers while honoring the top names in the game. The Chicago Cubs have been busy during July for some time now. They hope that some extended time off will help energize them for another deep October run.
The early portion of July will be packed with time off. The Chicago Cubs will open up the month in Cincinnati closing out a weekend set. Following a day off, the Cubs will host Joe Maddon‘s former squad for a quick two-game showdown. We can’t know for sure what type of team Tampa Bay will have come July, but this will no doubt be a special time for the Cubs skipper.
Another day off on Thursday precedes a weekend tilt with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Aside from the Cubs own business, the Mid-Summer classic offers fans and players a breather from the grind of a six-month marathon.
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The Cubs fielded four positional starters in last year’s Allstar game but it clearly didn’t affect their focus on the real goal.
When the Cubs return to work on July 14th it will be in Baltimore. The Cubs will continue their journey through the American League East.
Each year, I’m obligated as a friend to mention the name, Ian Krol. When the Cubs head to Atlanta they will be clashing with Krol and the lowly Braves. Let’s consider this the precursor for the premier homestand at the end of the month.
After completing what I’m assuming to be a sweep of the Braves, The Cubs return to Wrigley. The St. Louis Cardinals await the defending champs and hope to spoil some home cooking. Dexter Fowler should continue to be the storyline unless the race for the division is extremely close.
Now comes the portion of the season everyone’s been waiting for. Please note that the previous statement is saturated in sarcasm. The Cubs will face the Chicago White Sox in an over-hyped rivalry.
The only true benefit here is that the Cubs get to play the White Sox after a potentially important series with the Cardinals. Each and every game is important. Even the ones in April and May. To put it simply, The shine of this series that was once must-see feels like it has run its course.
Chicago Cubs fans will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy high-level baseball in July. With any luck, the Cubs will send another handful of players to the Allstar game. July is the primer to the postseason run. Next up…the dog days.