NL Central: The Cubs’ post season is not guaranteed

The Cubs are far from the NL powerhouse they were last year.

The NL Central is not in the bag.

Now that the calendar has flipped to September, it’s imperative that they put together a win streak. The St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers are right on their heels.  Here are the games that are going to matter the most in the next two weeks.

  1. 1 The Cardinals are coming to town

    Forever a threat to the Cubs' success, the Cardinals are coming to Wrigley Field on Friday for a three-game series. The upside is that the Cubs are coming off of two back-to-back wins against the Mets and even if they don't complete the sweep, it still puts them in a good position to take on the Birds. The Cardinals are just 3.5 games out of first place and could be poised to pull a huge upset over the Cubs to win the division.

  2. 2 Two games in Tampa

    The Cubs need to win both of these games. It's a strange little two-game series right before they head off to Milwaukee for a four-game stretch. The Rays shouldn't be an issue for the Cubs and coming off of consecutive wins will be a good morale booster before they face a bigger challenge. The Rays will have just had a difficult series with the Boston Red Sox and with them slipping now 5 games back of the wild card, the Cubs need to take full advantage.

  3. 3 The Brew Crew

    No one expected Milwaukee to emerge as a threat in the NL Central this season. Yet, here they are just 3 games out of first place. The Brewers swept the Cubs at home earlier this month, a series in which the Cubs scored just three runs in three games. They won't get that home series back, and this isn't a team I can see sweeping Milwaukee, but they'll need to take 3 of 4 to keep the hope of winning the division alive. The very worst they could endure is a split series.

  4. 4 Meet me in St. Louis

    It's the Midwest equivalent of the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry and it's going to come down to the wire this year for the Cubs. Worst case scenario, the Cubs are swept at home by the Red Birds. The last four-game series of the season will be in St. Louis and it will no doubt feel like a postseason tilt. These games will be the most crucial of all. The Cardinals could very well use the home field advantage to win the division in these last four games. If they manage to do so, the Cubs could end up missing the postseason altogether this year. I just don't see them being the team that squeezes past the Colorado Rockies or the Arizona Diamondbacks for a wild card spot.

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