Cubs likely to claim NLC Division title

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Anna Hulstedt, Reporter

Last year was it. The Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series, leaving Cubs fans proud and pumped for next season. Compared to their championship year though, the Cubs have not impressed their fans like last season.

So far this season, their record is 68-57, putting them in first place in the National League Central division. However, at this point in the 2016 season, the Cubs record was 81-45.

There are a few Cubs players out for injuries as well, making the season more challenging than expected. Addison Russell is still away for a foot injury as of August 4. Javier Baez is filling in, but Coach Joe Maddon says that he makes more mistakes than Russell did, but is playing as well as he can, stepping out of his second base position to substitute in the shortstop position. Maddon still doesn’t know when Russell will return.

Catcher Wilson Contreras is still out with a hamstring injury, and could be gone four to six more weeks. He was hitting .361 in August, one of the highest on the team. Maddon said, “Obviously, he’s been carrying us. All the different things that he does—his energy—all that stuff is vital to us.”

The recent three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays was the first series that the Cubs have swept this month. They will play the Phillies next, who currently have a record of 46-80, putting them in last place for the National League East division.

Predictions can’t always be too accurate regarding the playoffs, but according to Sports Illustrated, the Cubs are likely to claim the NLC division title which would send them to the MLB postseason.

“The Cubs have the potential to win their division because they have a team of strong hitters and have great defense,” said Sarah Hulstedt (‘20).

Ten teams enter the playoffs, five from the National League, and five from the American League. Two wild card teams from each division play two days after the end of the regular season. The winner takes all and advances to play the number one seed in the Division series. Therefore, if the Cubs don’t win their division, they’d most likely have a chance at making the playoffs as a wild card team.

The Cubs will most likely be in the playoffs, but it can be difficult to tell how far they’ll go this year.