Cubs playoff odds come crashing down hard after brutal stretch

A recent 2-8 stint has dealt a perhaps fatal blow to Chicago's postseason aspirations.
Chicago Cubs v Arizona Diamondbacks
Chicago Cubs v Arizona Diamondbacks / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

After the Chicago Cubs swept the San Francisco Giants in a three-game series at Wrigley Field coming off the Labor Day weekend, the team's postseason odds sat at a staggering 92%, per Fangraphs. Visions of October baseball danced in all our heads at that point. We still had thoughts of chasing down Milwaukee for the division title, even.

But now, the Cubs are facing a much different scenario: one that's growing increasingly bleak and has their chances of playing in the postseason at less than 50-50, at 46.4% entering Monday's off-day, according to Fangraphs.

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Chicago is just 2-9 in its last 11 games - and the surging Arizona Diamondbacks are a big part of that, taking 6 of 7 against David Ross' club during that span. The Brewers are riding high and look like a lock to win the NL Central at this point, with a 6 1/2 game lead over the Cubs.

The wild card picture isn't much better if that's where you've hung your hopes. Because of how the tiebreaker is structured (head-to-head record), the Cubs come up short against the leading wild card team in the Phillies, as well as the Diamondbacks, Marlins and Reds. That means if the season ends and the Cubs are tied with one of those four teams for the final wild card spot, it'll be Cincinnati, Miami or Arizona playing in October - not the Cubs.

Hope isn't totally lost. This week's homestand is critical - with three against both the Pirates and Rockies, two very, very beatable teams. Chicago needs to take advantage of this week's soft schedule because they close out the year against Atlanta and Milwaukee on the road and even if those clubs are resting key guys ahead of October, they're formidable foes.

Between key injuries to guys like Adbert Alzolay, Jeimer Candelario and Michael Fulmer and an offense that's really struggled to come up with key hits, the margin for error is slim. It'll take some serious home cooking to, again, turn the narrative surrounding this team on its head. Without some Wrigley Field magic, the Cubs will be watching the postseason from their couches just like the rest of us.