Aug 3, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Ryan Braun (8) is congratulated by teammates after scoring during the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
The Brewers are entering the home stretch of the season and are still in first place, holding off the pesky St. Louis Cardinals by a game and a half. So how does the remaining schedule look for the Brewers (and Cardinals)? Let’s take a look at the strength of schedules, games versus the Cards and key stretches. I may even throw in a prediction at the end.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
There are a lot of head-to-head games for Central teams coming up. Both the Brewers and Cardinals will only play 3 series against non-division foes. This makes the schedules very similar in strength. At home the Brewers will play the Pirates, Marlins, Cardinals, Reds and Cubs while the Cardinals will play host to the Pirates, Rockies, Brewers, Reds and Cubs. The road doesn’t offer much disparity either, the Brewers will face the Padres, Giants, Cubs, Cardinals, Pirates and Reds while the Cardinals face the Phillies, D-Backs, Cubs, Brewers, Pirates and Reds. The Brewers will play one more game at home and the Cardinals will play two more on the road, a slight edge to Milwaukee, but all things considered neither has much of an advantage.
Milwaukee will get St. Louis at home for 4 games (September 4-7) and then play St. Louis on the road for a 3 game series (September 16-18). Will the Brewers finally get over the “St. Louis owns them” hump and will the teams be able to keep their players in their dugouts? I would say each warrants approximately 50% odds.
The Brewers 11 game home stand, starting with St. Louis on September 4, needs to be successful. How this is measured of course depends on how other teams in the division race (especially St. Louis) are playing, but I don’t see a possibility of the Brewers going 3-8 during this home stand and also coming out of September with a division lead. The home stand is exactly that, a home stand that needs to be protected.
The Brewers finish 10-7 at home and 9-9 on the road. Assuming enough of the wins are against the Cardinals the Brewers may have enough to win the Central. It’s going to be tight, stay tuned…
A bench clearing brawl will occur between Milwaukee and St. Louis on September 16.
What do you think? How will the Brewers finish out the season and will they be able to hold off the St. Louis Cardinals?