The Cubs are obviously not off to the start they want in their title defense campaign, but things aren't as gloomy as their 25-26 record would indicate.
Yes, the 2017 Cubs have 20 more losses than they did a year ago at the time of their 25th victory (they began 2016 on a torrid 25-6 pace).
In fact, the Cubs didn't even reach their 26th loss until June 25 last season and they had already racked up 48 wins and 10-game lead in the division by that point. By comparison, on the final day of May last season, the Cubs were 35-15 with a +128 run differential and 6.5 lead over the 29-22 Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Central.
Following five straight losses, the Cubs woke up Wednesday morning with only a +1 run differential, but they're also only 1.5 games out of first place thanks to the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers winning just three of their last 10 games apiece.
Currently, the NL Central is far and away the worst division in baseball, which is interesting given this is the same unit that sent three teams to the playoffs in 2015.
But it's the weakness of the division that is the Cubs' saving grace right now, at least in terms of panic.
In fact, FanGraphs' playoff odds still give the Cubs an 85.6 percent chance of making the postseason:
That's down from 95.6 percent at the start of the season, but the Cardinals (46.3 percent down to 44 percent) and Pirates (15.5 percent down to 9.4 percent) have also seen a drop in their own playoff odds while the first-place Milwaukee Brewers are only handed a 6 percent chance of making the postseason.
Coming off the 7-2 homestand a little over a week ago, the Cubs were 25-21 and sitting atop the division heading into a weekend in Los Angeles. At that time, the Cubs' playoff odds sat at 93.3 percent wiht an expected won-loss record of 93-69.
So things have dropped a bit thanks to this five-game losing streak — Cubs are now projected to go 90-72 with those 85.6 percent odds of making the postseason — but it's not as precipitious as it may seem. Part of the freak-out is because two of those losses have come to the San Diego Padres, the only team that woke up Wednesday morning with a 0.0 percent chance of making the playoffs.
FanGraphs still gives the Cubs an 11.7 percent chance to win the World Series, down only slightly from the 15.3 percent on Opening Day.
Only the Los Angeles Dodgers (19.4 percent), Cleveland Indians (15.3 percent) and Houston Astros (15.1 percent) have better odds to win it all.