Chicago Cubs Continue Alarming Trend Against NL Central

The Chicago Cubs keep coming up short against NL Central opponents.
Jun 6, 2024; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Reds first baseman Spencer Steer (7) tags Chicago Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson.
Jun 6, 2024; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Reds first baseman Spencer Steer (7) tags Chicago Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson. / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
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The Chicago Cubs' brief winning streak was short-lived, ending after just two games.

After needing miraculous comebacks to eke out back-to-back one-run wins over the lowly Chicago White Sox this week, the Cubs returned to their losing ways on Thursday. Chicago kicked off its seven-game road trip with yet another loss, falling 8-4 to the Cincinnati Reds as Javier Assad got pounded for five runs in one of his worst starts of the season and Chicago's bullpen faltered.

The Cubs are now 7-15 over their last 22 games, falling back below .500 to 31-32. Much of those struggles have come against the NL Central, as Chicago is just 3-11 against divisional opponents during that span.

The Cubs went 4-2 against the NL Central before that stretch, so they're 7-13 overall inside the division. Against everyone else, they're 24-19.

Chicago has a losing record against all four of its division rivals. The Cubs are 1-3 against the Reds, 3-4 against the Milwaukee Brewers, 3-4 against the Pittsburgh Pirates and 0-2 against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Chicago's skid started when the team lost three of four at home to the Pirates in mid-May. After dropping two of three to the Atlanta Braves, the Cubs endured a devastating 1-5 road trip against the Cardinals and the Brewers. Chicago then lost two of three at home to Cincinnati before taking both games (barely) from the White Sox.

The Cubs continue to struggle on the road as well, going 13-19 with a minus-30 run differential away from Wrigley Field.

What's even more frustrating for Chicago is that the NL Central isn't even that good. Milwaukee is its only team with a winning record at the moment, so it's not like the Cubs have been losing to juggernauts. They've simply been playing bad baseball, which is why they're no longer in first place after their hot start.

Chicago still has three more games in Cincinnati this weekend to try to reverse these concerning trends. Justin Steele (0-2, 4.10 ERA) will go for his first win of the season on Friday night against Nick Lodolo (5-2, 3.11 ERA).

Tyler Maher


Tyler grew up in Massachusetts and is a huge Boston sports fan, especially the Red Sox. He went to Tufts University and played club baseball for the Jumbos. Since graduating, he has worked for, The Game Day, FanDuel and Forbes. When he's not writing about baseball, he enjoys running, traveling, and playing fetch with his golden retriever.