Cubs to open 2016 postseason run at Wrigley

NL Central champs clinch home field in NLDS

September 21st, 2016

When the Cubs begin the 2016 postseason, they will do so within the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field.

The combination of the Cubs' 6-1 win against the Reds and the Dodgers' 2-0 loss to the Giants on Tuesday night guaranteed that Chicago will finish with one of the top two records in the National League. That, in turn, means home-field advantage in the NL Division Series, with the Cubs hosting Game 1 on Oct. 7.

Manager Joe Maddon's ballclub already locked up the NL Central title and now has won the first two games of its three-game series against Cincinnati to move to a Major League-best 96-55 (.636). That includes an even more dominant 54-23 at Wrigley (.701).

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With the Dodgers' loss on Tuesday, the only NL team with a mathematical chance to finish ahead of the Cubs is the Nationals (88-63). However, any combination of three Cubs wins and Nats losses would give Chicago home field through the NL Championship Series, as it owns the tiebreaker over Washington by virtue of taking the season series between the clubs, 5-2. The American League has home field in the World Series due to the AL's win in the All-Star Game.

By solidifying themselves as the NL's top seed, the Cubs would set up an NLDS matchup against the winner of the NL Wild Card Game, as opposed to one of the other two division champions. After Tuesday's action, the Cardinals, Giants and Mets are locked in a three-way tie atop the Wild Card standings, at 80-71.

After finishing the series against the Reds on Wednesday night, the Cubs will have an off-day Thursday before welcoming the Cardinals to town for a three-game set starting on Friday.