Milwaukee Brewers: Examining The Rest Of The September Schedule

MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 04: Wade Miley #20 of the Milwaukee Brewers reacts in the sixth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Miller Park on September 4, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 04: Wade Miley #20 of the Milwaukee Brewers reacts in the sixth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Miller Park on September 4, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

As we find ourselves in the final weeks of the regular season, the Milwaukee Brewers have been playing some good baseball as of late and are in a great position to make the playoffs. After a difficult three series road trip, Milwaukee appears to be back on track, winning their last five series.

The Brewers had a difficult month and a half stretch that spanned from the middle of June to the beginning of August. Over that time, Milwaukee played 21 games in 20 days leading up to the All-Star break and 17 games in 17 days after. This team was fatigued and it was showing in their play. However, their reward is a very favorable September schedule.

Of the Brewers remaining 21 games, 12 of them will be played at Miller Park. The Crew often takes advantage of playing at home by scoring many of their runs via the long-ball. This has led to them boasting a 42-27 record at home, which is third best in the NL.

After surviving the dog days of summer, the Brewers will now have every Thursday in the month of September as an off day. This will give some well deserved rest to players like Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain who play most days and allow the bullpen to stay fresh for this crucial final stretch.

In addition to the off days, the Brewers remaining schedule will have a majority of their series against struggling teams. Five out of the last seven series will be against teams below .500.

San Francisco Giants

It will start with the 68-73 San Francisco Giants coming to town for a three game series. The Brewers were able to take three out of four when they played at San Francisco in early August. I would expect similar results in this series.

This Giants team is night and day when it comes to playing at home versus on the road. They are 9 games over .500 when home but have a record of just 29-43 on the road this year. Even with Madison Bumgarner scheduled to pitch this series, Milwaukee should be able to take advantage of the Giants.

Chicago Cubs

The Brewers will then head to Chicago for their final three games of the year against the Cubs. At this point in the season, all series are must-win. But if Milwaukee has any hopes of winning the division, this series is a definite must-win and sweeping the Cubs may be necessary.

Even with the Brewers favorable schedule, not capitalizing on this series will result in hoping the Cubs fall apart down the stretch. With their experience and depth, that really isn’t likely.

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Crew will play six games in the final weeks against the Pirates, that will include three games at Miller Park and three games at Pittsburgh. The Brewers have struggled this year overall against the Pirates but did manage to win the previous series.

When Milwaukee lost the five game series to Pittsburgh before the All-Star break, they were in a slump and Pittsburgh was riding some strong momentum. However, since that point a lot has changed and the Pirates are all but out of the playoff picture. This remains a six game series that Milwaukee needs to win

Cincinnati Reds

The 59-82 Cincinnati Reds will come to Miller Park for one last series. Even though there have been some hard-fought games this year between the two, the Brewers have dominated the season series, going 11-5 against the Reds up to this point.

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The whole season has been tough for the Reds but they struggle even more when on the road, accumulating just 27 wins this season when away from Great American Ballpark. This is another series the Brewers should take and potentially sweep.

St. Louis Cardinals

The other playoff contender the Brewers still have to face are the Cardinals on the road for three games. The Brewers and Cardinals have split the season series at 8-8 so far and while the Cards are still playing good baseball, they’ve since cooled down from their red-hot August.

Hopefully the Brewers have taken advantage of their previous series’ and have gained separation in the Wildcard race, but this could be the series where either one of these teams take full control of that first Wildcard spot. That will lead to determining who hosts the Wildcard playoff game and we all know we would rather have the Brewers at Miller Park than on the road.

Detroit Tigers

The Brewers season will conclude at home with an oddly timed interleague series against the Tigers. Detroit has struggled mightily all season and have a record of 57-83. The timing of this series in the Brewers schedule could be crucial to their playoff hopes, if it comes down to the final weekend.

Whether it be for the division or a specific Wildcard spot, if the Brewers need to win two out of three or even sweep, this is a great team to have on the schedule. Another poor road team, the Tigers have just 23 wins when away from home and have been outscored by 116 runs this season. If these are must-win games, this is a perfect recipe for Milwaukee to end the season on.

On paper, the Brewers have an ideal schedule laid out in front of them to make the playoffs. Of course, they’ll still need to keep playing good baseball to do so. But if they can finish 13-8 the rest of the way, I believe that will earn a playoff spot for them. With this schedule that is a very realistic goal.

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The last five series the Brewers bats have been swinging well, they’ve added depth at most positions, and the bullpen appears to be healthy for the most part. This has all the makings to be an exciting September in Milwaukee.