The Playoffs Are Still Easily Within Reach

Cory StephensContributor IJuly 24, 2009

CHICAGO - JUNE 18: Ryan Theriot #2 of the Chicago Cubs hugs teammate Reed Johnson #9 after Johnson scored the winning run in the bottom of the 9th inning on a single by Alfonso Soriano to beat the Chicago White Sox on June 18, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the White Sox 6-5. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

With the Cardinals recent addition to Matt Holiday, the Cardinals are now easily the favorites to win the National League Central. Even if St Louis wins the division, there is still hope in winning the Wild Card.

While the Cubs should not give up on the division, it may be time to start watching the Wild Card standings. Currently the Cubs are three games back and tied with Houston for third behind the Giants and Rockies, with Atlanta only a half game behind.

The good news is that both the Giants and Rockies play in the same division as both each other and the National League best Dodgers. With any luck, these two teams will beat up and take each other out of the race.

The Astros just put Berkman on the 15 day DL and have a big four game series at Wrigley Field next week. The  Cubs need to help themselves out and put some distance between themselves and the Astros while Berkman is out.

The Braves are a lot like the Cubs this year. They have had some great pitching but have struggled to score runs. The Braves also have seven games left against the Dodgers, nine left against Philly, and three against the Cardinals.

I am not giving up on the division completely after the Holliday trade but even if the Cubs can not take the division the Wild Card is still well within reach.