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Cubs Extend NL Central Lead to 3.5 Games


Kyle Bock

Sports Editor

It is now September which means it is the final month of the Major League Baseball Season. The National League’s divisional races have already been decided for the most part. The Washington Nationals hold a commanding 16 game lead over the rest of the Eastern Division, while the Los Angeles Dodgers have pulled out to a 12.5 game lead in the Western Division.  That just leaves the National League Central to be decided.

Shortstop Javier Baez and the Cubs used a strong August to take the NL Central lead over the Milwaukee Brewers. Photo Credit: Chicagotribune.com

But, after a trade by Cubs General Manager Theo Epstein to acquire White Sox left-handed Pitcher Jose Quintana after the All-Star break, the Cubs began to heat up. After going 17-12 in the month of August, while battling injuries from key players such as Catcher Willson Contreras, Pitcher Jon Lester, Shortstop Addison Russell, and now Pitcher Jake Arrieta, the Cubs have somehow managed to take the lead in the division. Why is this?

The answer is simple, depth. The Cubs are without a doubt one of the deepest teams in the entire MLB.  Players such as Shortstop Javier Baez, Pitcher Mike Montgomery and recently acquired Catcher Alex Avila all stepped up and played some of their best baseball during the past month and are a major reason why the Cubs are still even in the race.

Add that to the resurgences of First Baseman Anthony Rizzo and reigning MVP Third Baseman Kris Bryant, and the Cubs are prepped to be a force in the playoffs if they keep the division lead and take the crown. There is no reason why anybody should rule the Cubs out for a repeat this season quite yet, they may have been down but they are certainly not out.