The first week of September has just concluded. September is arguably the most important month in baseball. This is the month where teams make the final push for their playoff spot. Although the Cubs have the second wild card spot by 8.5 games they have a great chance of either making the first wildcard spot or even winning the division over the Cardinals and the Pirates.
The Cubs started the month by making their September call-ups. As some you may know, the Cubs' are essentially prospects. They have called up stars Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Jorge Soler, and Addison Russell in the past year. In September, their call-ups to this point have been Javier Baez, Trevor Cahill, Austin Jackson, and Tsuyoshi Wada. Baez has already seen some playing time in the MLB therefore, they are hoping that he could fit right in and become a big help with the team at the second base spot. He has already made an effect as he has already hit a home run, has had 3 RBI’s, and is currently hitting .250. Trevor Cahill and Tsuyoshi Wada are both pitchers and hopefully they can become impactful relievers for the Cubs. Austin Jackson is an impressive outfielder that gives the Cubs depth in any outfield position. If you have been watching some of the Cubs games you may have noticed that Kris Bryant is playing the outfield, and not his normal position at third base. Instead of placing him out of position, you may see Austin Jackson start to play some games in the outfield.
The Cubs started the games of September with a solid start at 5 wins and 1 loss, including a three game sweep over the Diamondbacks. The Cubs needed a hot streak because before the sweep against the Diamondbacks they only won 2 of 8 games. The sweep happened because of how powerful the offense became. They scored 22 runs in the three games and only let up 9. That gave them momentum into the Cardinals series where they blew them out 9-0.
This three game series against the Cardinals is huge. With how hot the Cubs have been lately they have found themselves only 2 games back from the Pirates for the first NL wildcard spot. The Cubs have already won the first game of this series and have a good chance at winning another with Lester pitching against Martinez on Wednesday. Tonight there is a pitching advantage for the Cardinals having their ace Michael Wacha pitching against Jason Hammel. If the offense comes alive like normal and Hammel pitching a quality start, I don’t see the Cubs having much of a problem winning tonight.
Tonight’s game isn’t the only important game. The whole month of September is huge for the Cubs. They have to play the Phillies in a four game series and the Pirates twice in a four game series and a three game series. Also, they play the Cardinals again in a three game series, and they play the Brewers, the Royals, and the Reds. The Phillies are a pretty easy team to beat, and luckily, they traded Cole Hamels. So, we don’t have to go up against him and we won’t have to get no hit again. The Cardinals and Pirates series’ are both huge because they are both beating the Cubs in the NL central. The Cardinals have the lead on the Cubs in the division by 7.5 games, but that could change for the good or for the bad in this series and in the upcoming series against them. Also with the two Pirates series’ coming up the Cubs are in good position to take the first wildcard spot. The Brewers are another pretty easy team to beat and the Cubs have had an easy time beating them winning 9 out of the 13 games this season, and winning the last 7 games against them. The Royals have the second best record in baseball but we only have to play one game against them. And the Reds are another pretty easy team to beat, but the season series against them is close at 9-6 in favor of the Cubs.
With the upcoming schedule the Cubs could win 100 or more games this season. If they just win 21 or more games out of 26 then they will. It is likely because of how hot the Cubs can get. They are once again getting hot, winning 4 straight games. They have been pitching well and their offense has been on fire, if they can just keep this up then there is a good possibility that they win around 100 games and maybe win the division.
We will have to watch the games and see how September plays out to see what the Cubs will do. Could they WIN the NL central? Could they get the number 1 wildcard spot? Will they remain the number 2 wildcard spot? Could the Cubs surprisingly NOT make the playoffs? All these questions will be answered this September.