Quantifying Hope: Cubs’ Four-Game Skid Means Nothing in Grand Scheme

Whether it’s the parallels between Cubs and both the Warriors and the Cavaliers or the exercise in gross logical fallacy that asked whether this “veteran-heavy Cubs team” (because I’m loathe to provide clicks to this publication, I feel obligated to advise you to tread lightly; while the premise of Rick Morrissey’s piece isn’t wrong, his argument is deeply flawed) really needed to lose, we’ve been blessed with some doozies this week.

On top of that, the Cubs have suffered their first four-game losing streak since they were swept out of the NLCS. And the first three of those losses came at home. Against the Cardinals. After sweeping the Pirates. Even Javier Baez was prevented from laying claim to play-of-the-century status by the scourge of instant replay.

In the face of all this, it would be easy to feel a little worried about this team’s future. As more than one person has pointed out too me, it appears that the Cubs Hydra may have indeed stopped growing new heads after each injury. So I won’t blame you for even a moment if you want to get a little ranty or if you admit that your nails have been chewed to the quick. I will, however, direct you to the chart below.

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Yes, my friends, those playoff odds are as solid as ever. Fangraphs shows the Cubs with only three fewer tenths of likelihood, which tells you what kind of solid footing they’ve got. Baseball Prospectus is even more bullish on the boys in blue, dropping them only to 99.8% after last week’s near-lock. Losing streaks happen, you move on. Unless you’re the Pirates.

If there’s anything I’ve learned over the years, it’s that reveling in someone else’s worse fortunes can make you feel a whole lot better about your own. That said, I’d like to direct any nail-biting ledge-jumpers to the Pirates’ 4-18 run over the last 22 games. Woof.

A run of better health and a few breaks should clear the losing streak right up, but we can take heart in the odds for the time being. And if all else fails, just look at Pittsburgh and laugh.

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