We officially have our first postseason-bound team of the 2016 season, and it should come as no surprise that team is the Chicago Cubs. They've been the best team in baseball since Opening Day.
The Cubs had a chance to clinch the NL Central title with a victory at home against the Brewers, but alas, they lost to their division rival to the north (MIL 5, CHC 4). They missed a chance to celebrate the clincher at home in front of the Wrigley Field fans.
A few hours later, though, the Giants did the Cubs a solid and beat the Cardinals at AT&T Park (SF 6, STL 2) thanks to Johnny Cueto's complete game. The loss by St. Louis gives the Cubs the NL Central title. Chicago is officially going back to the postseason.
The NL Central title is the Cubs' first since winning back-to-back division titles in 2007 and 2008. They lost in the NLDS both of those years. The Cubs did win 97 games last season and make the postseason as a wild card. They advanced all the way to the NLCS.
Believe it or not, this is only the Cubs' sixth first-place finish since 1946. Hey, they don't call them the Lovable Losers for nothing. Here's the list of their most recent division titles and outcomes:
That's it. No postseason appearances for the Cubs from 1946-83.
The Cubs came into the season as no worse than a World Series contender. I would say they were the World Series favorites. They've done nothing but live up to the hype so far this season. Now that the NL Central division title is in the bag, the Cubs can focus on getting healthy and getting their players ready for October.