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MLB Friday review: Don't count out the Cubs

As recently as last week, if you looked at the Chicago Cubs, it would have been fair to say that they were headed to their couches this postseason. 

However, that has all seemingly changed in the short time since then. 

The Cubs are currently 52-51 on the season and are riding a seven-game winning streak, the longest active win streak in the MLB. 

Their most recent win came on Friday night, when they beat the St. Louis Cardinals by a score of 3-2. 

With this turnaround, the Cubs now trail the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central division by 4.5 games, a much improved number compared to what it had been for pretty much the entire season. 

In addition to gaining ground in their division, the Cubs are also back in the Wild-Card race. They trail the final National League Wild-Card spot, held by both the San Francisco Giants and Miami Marlins, by 3.5 games.

During their seven-game winning streak, the Cubs have really improved their offense. They are averaging 7.0 runs per game, while allowing 3.7 runs per game. 

Of course, if they want to keep gaining ground on both their division and the Wild Card, these numbers will need to continue to improve.

The Cubs recent win streak has seen their futures odds start to shift. They are now +7000 for the World Series, +3500 to win the National League, +600 for the NL Central, and +330 to make the playoffs.

Boston in prime position

The Boston Red Sox are another team that have made a push recently, winning their last five games in a row. 

Their most recent win came against the San Francisco Giants, while they also swept the Atlanta Braves in a two-game series earlier this week. 

The Red Sox are now 56-47 on the season and trail the Baltimore Orioles by 7.0 games in the American League East, so while winning the division would take a miracle, the Red Sox are right in the thick of the American League Wild-Card race. 

They currently trail the Houston Astros for the final Wild-Card spot in the American League by 1.5 games and given that they are red hot right now, they could certainly overtake them soon - if this streak continues.

During this five-game winning streak for the Red Sox, they are averaging 5.8 runs per game, while allowing 2.6 runs per game. 

Another sign of their improved pitching is that they held the Braves to a combined total of four runs in their two-game series against them earlier this week.  

With the Red Sox looking more and more like a playoff team, their future odds are on the move. 

Boston are +4500 to win the World Series, +2200 to win the American League, +2500 for AL East success and +185 to make the playoffs.

Minnesota losing ground

The Minnesota Twins are fortunate to be in the weakest division in baseball, the American League Central. 

They are 54-51, yet still lead the Cleveland Guardians by 1.5 games.

 If they were in any other division, they would be trailing by several games. 

The Twins have recently started to slide though, as they have lost three games in a row. 

The most recent of these games came on Friday night, where they lost to the Kansas City Royals by a score of 8-5. 

The Twins were actually leading this game against the Royals 5-4 heading into the bottom of the 10th, but a walk-off grand slam by the Royals buried them.

During this three-game losing slump, the Twins are still averaging 6.3 runs per game. The problem is that they are allowing 8.3 runs per game. 

If the Twins want to hang onto the division, their pitching is going to need to improve big time over the final months.

Having lost three games in a row, Minnesota are now +2000 to win the World Series, +1000 to win the American League, -334 to sustain their AL Central lead and -350 to make the playoffs.

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