Stats show Cubs division title chances took major leap after second win over Brewers

The Chicago Cubs division win percentage jumped several points via FanGraphs after they defeated the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday afternoon.

Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs
Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The Chicago Cubs defeated the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday, trimming their NL Central division deficit in the process. Chicago took two out of three games from Milwaukee, and now only trail their rivals by three games.

Chicago won both games -- Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively -- by just one run thanks to outstanding pitching performances by Justin Steele and Kyle Hendricks. The divisional matchup, which took place at Wrigley Field, drew sellout crowds. Steele commented on the energy of Cubs fans who came out on Tuesday night:

“I loved it. I love pitching in that environment,” Steele said, via “The fans here do a really special job of knowing the situation, knowing what’s at stake, knowing when to get on their feet. I mean, I think there was a moment in the first inning they were on their feet, because they knew a big pitch was coming.”

What are the chances the Cubs can catch the Brewers for the NL Central?

Prior to Chicago's win on Wednesday, their chances of winning the NL Central were just 14.7 percent. The Brewers, meanwhile, were 90 percent favorites to win the division, per FanGraphs. While Milwaukee still holds the edge, Chicago has trimmed that percentage down to just 77.2 percent in favor of the Brewers. The Cubs now have a 22.1 percent change of winning the Central.

Chicago's midseason revival surprised many around baseball. While the Cubs were initially viewed as likely trade deadline sellers after slumping out of the gate, they're now likely to make the playoffs, even if it's as a Wild Card team. Cody Bellinger and Marcus Stroman, both likely free agents this winter, are still on the roster. Stroman is injured and may not be able to contribute in Chicago's postseason run, but Bellinger is very much still involved as one of the hottest hitters in baseball.

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