After a horrendous road trip in Colorado and Arizona, the Chicago Cubs are now just a half-game up in the Wild Card. They have swapped places for the second and third spots, and their playoff odds have plummeted. I won't try to stop you if you want to throw in the towel. Not because I think all is lost, but because I've watched the peaks and valleys of this team all season long, and it's foolish to count them out before they are mathematically eliminated.
If you tell yourself that because the Cubs lost a series to the Rockies, remember the caliber of teams the Cubs have beaten all year. If that means nothing, keep that same glass-half-empty energy when Chicago comes roaring back this week because there are several things to be optimistic about as the Cubs return to Wrigley.
3 reasons to be optimistic - 3. Splits of upcoming opponents
The Cubs sit at 41-34 this season when playing at Wrigley. Their next two opponents are 32-40 and 22-53 on the road. Pittsburgh also has a -91 run differential, whereas the Rockies sit at a league-worst -210. Yes, the Coors Field series was unfortunate, but it is Coors Field where fly balls don't land in general. Even a team like the Rockies can hit there. Hence, their record is night and day away from Colorado. For proof, we can quickly reference that they have the 5th best runs per game at home, with a mark of 5.24. Meanwhile, on the road, they are second-worst in baseball, with a mark of 3.72 per. The Pirates are a bit more even, just 0.09 RPG on the road worse than in PNC Park.
For the Cubs, they are one of eight teams in MLB that average over 5.00 RPG at home. Falling flat in Colorado does not indicate that "this team can't even beat the Rockies." A lot of good teams have lost games in Colorado this year, such as the Brewers being swept earlier in the season, a series win against Cincinnati, a series win against the Marlins, and a split with the Astros. So let's not act like the Cubs now losing in Colorado is a shock; it's more just unfortunate timing that tells you zero about what to expect moving forward.