Before the All-Star Break, the Cubs were below .500 and 5.5 games behind in the NL Central. Since the All-Star Break however, the Cubs are on a 6 game winning streak and they re just one game behind the Brewers in the division. This is mainly due to a decrease in ERA from 4.66 to 2.00. This has helped the Cubs thanks to the Jose Quintana trade with the White Sox. In 5 of their last 6, the Cubbies have scored at least 5 runs or more. This is happening thanks to the home run hitting of Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zobrist, and Chris Bryant. With this squad, they might knock off the Brewers out of first place.
Speaking of the Brew Crew, they are on a 5 game losing streak, losing the entire series against the Pirates. In their last 5 games, the Brewers have gained the lead at least once, but somehow they cannot keep their lead. This isdue to the Brewers' closers not getting the final outs. On Wednesday leading at the bottom of the 9th inning 2-1, the Brewers gave up the walk off single by Andrew McCutchen with just 2 outs left. These two NL Central rivals will have a 3 game series in Milwaukee next Friday through Sunday with that Sunday game on TBS.
As for the Brew Crew keeping heir lead, a win and a Cubs loss will put them 2 games ahead. A loss and a loss will have no change. A Cubs win and a Brewers win will put them 1.5 games ahead. However, with a Cubs win and a Brewers loss, they will drop out of first place. The 7/28-7/30 series will be the most crucial series for both teams as they will both have a chance to prove who is the best in the NL Central. If the Cubs win, this will mean a whole lot to the team and will mark a sign of recovery, and they will have overcome massive adversity. If the Brewers win at least 2 or better, they will get back to where they were before the All-Star Break and the Brewers will have a chance to bring their record to as big as 61-46 overshadowing the Cubs and possibly make another postseason trip. But in order to do this they must get insurance runs, not blow closers' saves, and most importantly, do not let the Cubs take another NL Central crown.
So this year's NL Central will either feature a Cubs comeback and a Brewers backfire, or a Brewers bonanza and a Cubbies collapse if the Cubs lose their winning streak.