The Cubs have lost their last two outings against the Marlins, and I gather that the Reds, who they’ll play in their final three games, are considered a more formidable opponent. The Brewers toppled the Cards last night but lost tonight, making the contenders’ records as of tonight 83 and 75 (Cubs) and 81 and 77. If the Cubs lose all four of their remaining games, Milwaukee has to lose three of their four in order for the Cubs to win the division. I made a spreadsheet that tells me this.
In my long absence from baseball, I had forgotten just how a team could be a half game in front of or behind another. The reason seems to be that standings are calculated in such a way that teams who’ve played one or two more games than a team they’re being compared to can still be compared fairly. The calculation used for determining standings (I got this from here) is as follows:
(1/2) * ((WA – WB) + (LB – LA))
|WA||Team A Wins|
|WB||Team B Wins|
|LB||Team B Losses|
|LA||Team A Losses|
I haven’t watched the Reds play recently, and I don’t know how good Griffey Jr. is these days (he was an up and coming star when I last watched baseball regularly), but I’m crossing my fingers that his injury puts a damper on their winning spirit. They’re 9 and 14 this month, and they lost 2 of 3 in a series against the Cubs last week. If Chicago loses tomorrow and fares as well against the Reds this weekend as they did last week, the Brewers have to win their remaining four to tie.