The Chicago Cubs are posting their best month of May since 2016. Despite injuries, everything is rolling their way, but that could all change when the calendar flips to June.
Our Cubs ended the month of April in last place at 11-15. They’ll end May with a winning record and right in the thick of a battle for first place. Of the 24 games played so far in May, the Cubs faced four teams under .500: the Cincinnati Reds, Washington Nationals, Detroit Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates 14 times.
On top of that, Chicago caught the Dodgers in early May in the midst of a losing funk that started back in mid-April with a series against the Padres.
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It was the same with the Cardinals when Cubs met up with them in late May. The Cards’ losing funk, which was still ongoing ten days later, began with…wait for it…the Padres.
Cubs: June could be the Valley of Death
The current combined win-loss of the teams the Cubs face in June is 224-175, and that’s including the just under .500 Marlins. Three of those teams are currently in first place with a combined 86-61 record.
June starts with the Padres, the same team that took hot Dodgers and Cards teams and sent them into ten-plus days of losing. The Cards were 23-15 and three games up when they ran into the Padres. Ten days later they had gone 3-7, were just a half game up in the division.
The Dodgers had it worse. They were 14-4 and 2.5 up in the West when the Padres came to the City of Angels. By the time that funk was over the Dodgers were 18-17 and three games back.
Oh, and the best part is that the best record in baseball Padres at 33-19 are -3 in their Pythagorean W-L, meaning that given their Runs Scored vs. Runs Allowed they should be 36-16. So they have been unlucky.
The Padres are playing .720 ball in May as they head to Wrigley. Only the Tampa Bay Rays have been hotter this month. Beyond the Padres the Dodgers, Giants, Mets, Marlins, and Cardinals all own team pitching ERAs and WHIPs better than the Cubs.
Chicago Cubs: Irresistible force meets unmovable object
The second-hottest National League team in May? The Chicago Cubs. Posting a .708 winning percentage in May, the North Siders catapulted from last place to neck-and-neck with the first-place Cardinals, having gone 8-2 in their last ten games, 14-6 in their last 10 games, and winning six in a row.
The Cubs will probably not face Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove, the Padres’ two best starters, and will likely send Hendricks, Alzolay and Williams to the bump in the three-game set. The Padres pitching staff owns the league-best ERA and third-best WHIP.
The Padres walk… a lot. They are second in MLB in walks, and they don’t strike out a lot either. Consequently, they score a lot of runs, only the Dodgers have scored more runs in the National League. In almost every other category the Cubs and Padres are fairly even.
For the Chicago Cubs, the tone for this next month will be set in this very first series against the Padres. San Diego seems to the favorite but, we have El Mago, and David Ross’ club will need all the magic they can get in June.