Thinking about the Cubs and potential postseason seeding - and why it matters

Home field advantage is at stake for the Cubs over the final five weeks of the 2023 season
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs / Quinn Harris/GettyImages

The Cubs enter Saturday as one of the three National League Wild Card teams, 4.0 games back of the first-place Brewers in the NL Central. There are six games left between the Cubs and Brewers this season, which can either seal the deal for Milwaukee or keep the North Siders alive. It is not impossible for the Cubs to win the division, but it will be tough, as the Brewers just keep winning.

Even if the Cubs do not win the division, potentially getting a Wild Card spot would be a notable accomplishment. There is a tight battle between the Cubs, Phillies, Diamondbacks, Giants, Reds and Marlins for the three Wild Card berths.

What would the difference between a division title or a Wild Card spot be for the Cubs in terms of postseason play? One thing seems fairly certain, a division title for the Cubs would not matter in terms of getting a first-round bye. The top two teams in each league get the bye. Unless something wild happens, the Braves and Dodgers probably have the top two spots locked up. Thus an NL Central title or Wild Card berth for the Cubs would likely mean still playing in the first round.

Cubs playing for home field advantage that comes with an NL Central title

It all really comes down to potentially getting home field in the first round. The Cubs can host a first round series at Wrigley Field if they win the Central (most likely as the 3rd seed) or get the first Wild Card (4th seed). If the Cubs get either the third (6th seed) or second Wild Card (5th seed), they will play round one on the road. The third Wild Card plays the 3rd seed, which is likely going to be the NL Central winner. So if the Cubs get the last Wild Card and the Brewers win the Central, they will play each other in round one in Milwaukee.

The Cubs, in addition to having the six games left against the Brewers, have four left against the Reds, three against the Giants and seven against the Diamondbacks, These will be crucial for the Cubs postseason chances regardless of winning the division or getting a Wild Card spot. Every game is going to have massive weight.


These Cubs are a good/competitive bunch, but are not yet great. The arrow is pointing up with a bright future, and just getting in would be a big step in their building process. Even if they don't make it but stay in the race until the end, there would still be something to build off - even if it's disappointing. Just get in, and everything else is gravy this year.