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The Cardiac Cubs strike again

After several painful years of rebuilding (and of course plenty of painful years before that), the Chicago Cubs have been one of the best stories of this MLB season thus far. Bolstered by solid pitching and the development of their stable of young hitters, the Cubs are 39-30, good for the third-best record in the NL and fifth-best record in the majors.

David Banks/USA TODAY Sports

David Banks/USA TODAY Sports

Chicago has made a killing in close games, and the Cardiac Cubs were at it again on Tuesday night, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0 in 10 innings. Chris Denorfia won the game with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th inning, scoring Matt Szczur and adding yet another walk-off victory to Chicago’s resume:

Not only have the Cubs won in walk-off fashion nine times (tops in the majors) and in extras eight times, but they’ve won 18 one-run games on the year. Some of this “luck” may go the other way at some point, but Chicago has shown a consistent ability to come up in the clutch this season, and that’s been huge in racking up wins early in the year. As Emma notes, these wins could be huge if the Cubs are fighting for a playoff spot down the road.

After beating the Dodgers 1-0, the Cubs have now won four games in a row and the first two games of a four-game set against Los Angeles. What made these two wins especially impressive was the fact that Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke were on the mound for the Dodgers, and Chicago didn’t have its aces going. The Cubs beat Kershaw thanks to Kris Bryant and the bullpen, while Jason Hammel kept them in it against Greinke.

The tough games will continue for Chicago as we approach the All-Star break, with seven games coming against the St. Louis Cardinals before the break. If the Cubs can hold serve against the Cardinals and continue playing well against their other opposition, Chicago will feel very good about itself at the halfway point of the season.

Taking a look at the odds, the Cubs have 15/2 odds to win the NL pennant and 14/1 odds to win the World Series, per Bovada. While it IS the Cubs, it may not be a bad idea to get those bets in on them, because they might just be for real.

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