ATLANTA — The Cubs’ path to the playoffs got harder and a little weirder on Thursday thanks to events in Atlanta and New York.
Now the club is going to need a fair amount of help to make the postseason, and may have to wait until Monday to figure out their playoff fate.
After losing to the Braves 5-3 at Truist Field on Thursday night, the Cubs now sit a half-game behind the Marlins for the last National League Wild Card spot. Meanwhile, Miami’s game with the Mets in New York was suspended due to rain in the ninth inning Thursday after the Marlins had just taken the lead.
Because of that, the suspended game would be completed on Monday at Citi Field at 12:10 p.m. if the result could decide the Wild Card.
After being swept in Atlanta, the Cubs will face the Brewers for three games in their final series of the season at Miller Park in Milwaukee. Meanwhile, the Marlins are in Pittsburgh for three games against the Pirates.
So what has to happen for the Cubs to make the playoffs?
Since they lost the regular season series 4-2, and there is no one-game tiebreaker, they have to finish ahead of the Marlins to make the playoffs. There are a number of scenarios in which they could do that either Sunday or Monday, depending on what happens with Miami in Pittsburgh and, if necessary, New York.
If the teams finish the regular season with the same record, the Marlins go to the playoffs.
Oh, and thanks to a late surge, the Reds could even come into play as they face the Cardinals in St. Louis to finish the year. The Cubs lost their regular season series to Cincinnati, which gives them an edge in a potential tiebreaker with them.
Miami holds the tiebreaker over the Reds.
If the Cubs sweep the Brewers
- Would need the Marlins to lose two of their final four games.
- If the Marlins are swept or lose 1-of-3 to the Pirates, the Cubs could clinch in Milwaukee.
- If the Marlins take 2-of-3 against the Pirates, the Cubs need Miami to lose the suspended game Monday against the Mets.
- If the Marlins sweep the Pirates, Miami wins the third Wild Card.
- The Reds wouldn’t have a shot at the Wild Card if the Cubs sweep.
If the Cubs take 2-of-3 from the Brewers
- Would need the Marlins to lose three of their final four games.
- If the Marlins are swept by the Pirates, the Cubs could clinch in Milwaukee.
- If the Marlins win 1-of-3 against the Pirates, the Cubs would need the Marlins to lose their suspended game Monday against the Mets.
- If the Marlins win 2-of-3 or sweep the Pirates, Miami wins the third Wild Card
- Reds must lose one game to the Cardinals.
If the Cubs take 1-of-3 from the Brewers
- Would need the Marlins to be swept by the Pirates & lose the suspended game against the Mets on Monday.
- Any win by the Marlins over the course of the four games in this scenario would win them the Wild Card.
- Reds lose 2-of-3 to the Cardinals.
If the Cubs are swept by the Brewers
- Miami wins the third Wild Card no matter what they do against the Pirates and wouldn’t have to play the suspended game against the Mets.