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Cubs Hold 2nd-Largest Division Lead on June 19 in Division Era

Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffJune 20, 2016

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 18:  Kris Bryant #17 of the Chicago Cubs is congratulated by teammate Anthony Rizzo #44 after hitting a home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field on June 18, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Chicago Cubs enter Monday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals with a 12.5-game lead in the National League Central, making them just one of four teams in the divisional era (since 1969) to hold a lead of 10 or more games by June 19, per Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN Stats & Info).

The 2001 Seattle Mariners had a whopping 19.5-game lead in the AL West at the same point in the year, while the 1999 Cleveland Indians (11 games) and 1986 New York Mets (10) also boasted double-digit advantages over their nearest divisional competitors.

The Cubs' huge margin becomes all the more impressive when considering they play in a division that's been one of baseball's best the past few years.

The NL Central provided both of the National League's wild-card teams last season, with the Cubs (97-65) and Pittsburgh Pirates (98-64) joining the division-champ Cardinals (100-62) in the postseason.

Since the addition of a second wild-card spot in 2012, the NL Central has accounted for at least one of those spots in each of the four seasons, even providing both teams in 2013 and 2015.

Granted, the division isn't quite so strong this year, with the second-place Cardinals (35-33) and third-place Pittsburgh Pirates (33-36) likely already resigned to competing for the aforementioned wild-card spots.

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Sitting at 47-20 following a three-game sweep of Pittsburgh, the Cubs now have a chance to further extend their commanding lead as they prepare for a three-game series against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field. 

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