Winning Central title is primary goal for Cubs

Chicago battling Brewers for division, home-field advantage

September 27th, 2018

CHICAGO -- The Cubs are in the postseason picture following Wednesday night's 7-6 walk-off win in 10 innings over the Pirates. What's next? That will be decided over the final four days of the regular season.

The Cubs (92-66) and Brewers (92-67) both have a chance at winning the National League Central title. If they finish the regular season with identical records, they would play a tiebreaker on Monday at Wrigley Field. Chicago would host because it won the season series, 11-8. The losing team would host the Wild Card Game on Tuesday.

If the Cubs win the Central and finish with the best record in the NL, they would earn home-field advantage in the NL playoffs, which they had in 2016 when they won the World Series.

If the Brewers win the division, the Cubs would have to play a Wild Card Game, which they did in 2015 against the Pirates.

Imagining crazy tiebreaker scenarios

Who the other Wild Card team will be has yet to be determined. The Cardinals (87-72), Rockies (88-70) and Dodgers (88-71) are still in the postseason hunt. The Rockies have a half-game lead over the Dodgers in the NL West after a 14-0 win over the Phillies, their sixth in a row, on Wednesday. The Dodgers lost, 7-2, to the D-backs on Wednesday.

Chicago does know St. Louis well as Central rivals. The Cardinals have a 9-7 edge in their season series. The Cubs went 3-3 against the Rockies, winning two of three at Coors Field, and were 4-3 against the Dodgers.

The winner of the Central would most likely finish with the best record in the NL and face the Wild Card winner. That means the NL East champion Braves (89-69) would play whoever clinches the West in the NL Division Series. The NLDS is scheduled to begin on Oct. 4.

On Thursday, the Cubs close their four-game series against the Pirates while the Rockies wrap up a four-game set against the Phillies at Coors Field.