NL Central standings ordered by run differential: Maybe the Cubs aren't as bad as we feared

The Cubs are sneaking back into the postseason picture and this metric suggests there might be cause for hope as the first half winds down.

Miami Marlins v Chicago Cubs
Miami Marlins v Chicago Cubs / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages
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NL Central standings ordered by run differential: #1 - Chicago Cubs

The flags atop the Wrigley Field scoreboard might not reflect it, but in terms of run differential, your Chicago Cubs are the #1 team in the National League Central with a +17 mark here on June 20.

The insertion of Mike Tauchman into the leadoff spot has provided a badly-needed spark offensively, but the Cubs are, at best, a fairly pedestrian team with the bat. The pitching, especially the starting rotation, has kept the team in the hunt to this point - headlined by Marcus Stroman, Justin Steele and Drew Smyly.

Chicago has to maintain this momentum offensively and some reinforcements at the deadline could go a long way toward shoring things up. Hopefully, the return of Cody Bellinger will be another 'plus' in that column, but that remains to be seen given the uncertainty regarding the status of his injured knee.


The Cubs are clearly trending in the right direction and this metric, which optimists have pointed to all year long, even during the rough stretches, suggest this team is very much in the hunt in a diminished National League Central.