The Milwaukee Brewers went into the All Star Break with a record of 50-41, good enough for first place in the National League Central by 5.5 games. Not many expected this team to be in a contending situation at this point, but none of that matters now.
That puts the Milwaukee Brewers in the playoff hunt for the rest of the year, which will create some very important, and exciting series in the final three months of the regular season.
One of the most important teams the Milwaukee Brewers have not yet played in 2017 is the Washington Nationals. Who are in first place in the National League East by a whopping 9.5 games. Barring a monumental collapse, they will be in the playoffs, and if the Brewers are going to compete, they need to play well against teams such as these.
The Brewers play the Nationals in two series, one coming soon in July, and the other at the beginning of September. So fans have a chance to see the state of the Brewers against good teams now, and then how they have grown in the series in September.
The National League West
Another key time to watch is when the Brewers make a long trip out West, including three game series against the Rockies, Giants, and Dodgers. The two most important ones there will be against two clear national league contenders, Colorado and Los Angeles.
The Dodgers will most likely be the division champion, leading the division by 7.5 games to this point, but the Rockies, along with the Diamondbacks have a clear path to the wild card game.
Long road trips against good teams are things that can really kill a team if not handled the right way, and it will be key to watch how these Brewers are holding up in the standings at that point, and how they handle playoff pressure against playoff teams.
One thing to note is that the Brewers could have easily swept the Dodgers at Miller Park back in early June, but two blown ninth inning leads by the Brewers bullpen forced them to settle for just one out of three.
Unfortunately, the Brewers, despite being a big surprise, could be up by a lot more in their division, but have blown many games out of the bullpen. It will be important to see if games continue to be given away in a playoff race that they’re in now, because that could be the difference between playing in October, or watching the playoffs from home.
In The Division
Finally, the series that will be the most important are the ones against the other contenders in the division, Chicago and St. Louis.
While it is important to see how you stack up against other playoff contenders outside the division, the Milwaukee Brewers and the other teams in the central are in a situation where you either win the division, or miss the playoffs. So winning games against the Cubs and the Cardinals at any time during the rest of the season goes a long way as far as playing in October.
In the last few weeks in September, the Milwaukee Brewers play a three game series against Chicago at home, and then play the last three games of the year in St. Louis. Also, the Cubs play the Cardinals in a four game series in between the Brewers series with Chicago and St. Louis, while Milwaukee is at home against Cincinnati.
If this division is a tight race throughout the rest of the year, these series will be do or die time for all three teams, and you better believe Wrigley, Miller Park, and Busch Stadium are all going to be packed for these games. It’s going to be an exciting race in the National League Central, and if it all plays out, we could have a three team brawl right up to the last weeks of the season.