Will The Cubs Make The 2023 Playoffs? Here’s What The Odds Say

Aug 3, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Adbert Alzolay (73) celebrates the final out against the Cincinnati Reds during the ninth inning at Wrigley Field.
Image Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The NL Central is shaping up to be three team race as we head into the home stretch of the season. The Cubs are currently sitting in third place, but Wrigleyville is buzzing with excitement as their squad is making a legitimate push for the postseason. So, will the Cubs make the playoffs this season?

Let’s break down the details below.

Will The Cubs Make The Playoffs In 2023?

Despite their recent surge, the odds imply that the Cubs have about a 45% chance to make the playoffs.

  • Yes: +125
  • No: -145

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook on Tuesday, Aug. 8.

Cubs Can Still Win NL Central

Currently, the Cubs sit in third place, 2.5 games behind the first-place Brewers, and 1 game behind the second-place Reds. If we take a look at the odds to win the division though, the Brewers are the favorite (-130), but the Cubs (+250) sit ahead of the Reds (+320) per DraftKings.

The reason for this surge in Chicago’s odds could be their recent 13-4 record in the last 17 games. During this hot streak, the Cubs have been batting .292 and have an OPS of .872. An offensive breakout could be just what the North side of Chicago needs to solidify a playoff spot and potential division win.

Wild Card On The Table?

If a division win is not in the cards, the Cubs are just one game back of the Reds and Phillies, who are currently tied for the second wild-card spot. If the Reds were to fall off the pace in the coming weeks (as the oddsmakers are projecting), that would further Chicago’s odds in the NL Central and the wild card. It’s a win-win.

Pitchers Justin Steele (13-3) and Marcus Stroman (10-8) have led the way this season. Suppose secondary pitchers in the rotation like Kyle Hendricks, Jameson Taillon, and Drew Smyly can increase their quality starts on the back end of the regular season. In that case, the Cubs’ playoff chances will increase significantly.

Cubs Remaining Strength Of Schedule

According to Power Ranking Guru, the Cubs have the 30th easiest remaining schedule out of all MLB teams. This bodes very well for their secondary pitchers to gain confidence, and their offense to ride their current momentum.

If we take a look at the rest of the NL Central, the Reds are ranked 25th and the Brewers sit at 21st in the strength of schedule rankings. So by no means do the Cubs have an incredible advantage in this regard, but they definitely have a slight edge over their two top competitors as the postseason approaches.