Chicago Cubs: Three key players for the postseason

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Chicago Cubs, Ed Howard

Chicago Cubs (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The Chicago Cubs have made the post-season for the fifth time in the past six seasons and will need to depend on their core if they expect to go far.

The Chicago Cubs are National League Central Champions.

The Cubs opened the season with a 13-3 record through their first 16 games and it is not a surprise that the team is returning to the post-season after missing the cut in 2019.

Starting pitchers Kyle Hendricks and Yu Darvish, center fielder Ian Happ, and relief pitcher Jeremy Jeffress were a large part of the reason why the Cubs were off to a hot start to the season. The issue that the Cubs discovered after their hot start is that the team would need much more than those three players in order to maintain their early-season success.

With the likes of Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, and Kyle Schwarber struggling offensively, the Cubs were largely depending on their pitching staff during the final month of the season in order to secure their spot in the post-season.

Look no further than last week when the Cubs lost three of four games to the Pittsburgh Pirates but managed to clinch a post-season spot due to losses by the Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies. The Cubs clinched the National League Central over the weekend due to the St. Louis Cardinals dropping a game to the Milwaukee Brewers.

While the Cubs did win two of three games against the Chicago White Sox and their offense returned to form this past weekend, the month of September and their struggle on offense led to many believing that the Cubs’ post-season in 2020 will look like it did in 2018 when they faced the Colorado Rockies in the National League Wild Card Game and were shutout as they lost the game 1-0.

The issue for the Cubs is that their offense, over the course of the past three seasons, has disappeared during the final month of each respective season and into the post-season. Despite having position players that have earned offensive milestones such as Javier Baez winning the National League Silver Slugger award in 2018, their bats have largely gone silent when they have needed them the most. It goes without saying that the Cubs are going to need their bats as they begin the 2020 Major League Baseball Post-Season against the Miami Marlins. Otherwise, their fate in 2020 will be much like their fate in the Wild Card game against the Rockies in 2018.

If the Chicago Cubs are going to avoid that fate, they will need these three players to perform and lead the post-season run.

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