With 43 games left in the season, the Cubs have a four game lead for the second Wild Card spot over the San Francisco Giants. The Cubs are also four games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates for the top Wild Card spot.
But the Cubs aren’t eyeing the playoff via the Wild Card game. Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta told MLB.com they want to catch the St. Louis Cardinals who have a eight game lead in the Central Division.
I think at this point in time, we don’t intend to be a Wild Card [team], Arrieta said. We still think we can win our division. We’ve got 35, 40 games left, maybe a little more. We’re still in a position here where we can jump some guys if we can get hot and have some good fortune with the teams ahead of us.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon concurs with Arrieta’s assessment and thinks the Cubs have a chance to win the division.
Let’s go for the division, Maddon said.
The Cubs sound like a motivated club that doesn’t just want to make the playoffs but make a run. Since the start of August, the Cubs are 14-4 including a nine-game winning streak.