Milwaukee Brewers: What Defines A Successful 2018 Season?
By David Gasper
The Milwaukee Brewers entered the 2018 season with much higher expectations than the year before. But what exactly are those expectations and how do we know if they’ll meet them.
Back on January 25, when GM David Stearns acquired Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain within an hour of each other, fans of the Milwaukee Brewers realized one thing: The front office was going for it in 2018. The window of contention opens now.
Winning the NL Central division title has been on the mind of Brewers fans since that day and the Brewers players haven’t been shy about wanting that title as well. While winning the NL Central would obviously be a success for the Crew, is the season a failure if they don’t? What would make this season a success vs. a failure?
Making The Postseason
Obviously if the Brewers miss the playoffs entirely, the 2018 season is going to be chalked up as a failure.
But as things currently stand, the Crew is 2.5 games up in the first NL Wild Card spot and 4.0 games ahead of the Dodgers, who are third in the Wild Card race. They’re also just two games back of the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central with three head-to-head games starting on Monday.
Fangraphs currently pegs the Brewers with a 95.2% chance of making the playoffs. The odds of getting in look pretty good.
All About The Seeding
While some may think that simply making the playoffs means the season was a success, I’m not convinced that simply getting there is good enough. The National League is wide open. There are no dominant teams like there are in the AL. The Brewers can match up with the best of the NL and should be able to pull out at least one series win.
A Wild Card spot
If the Brewers win a Wild Card spot, they need to win that game for this to be considered a successful season.
Making that NLDS is crucial if they’re the Wild Card. Many don’t consider simply making the Wild Card game as actually getting into the playoffs. For that to be seen as a success, they need to win that one game winner-take-all.
If the Brewers win the NL Central, they need to at least make the NLCS to be considered a success this season.
It’s all about expectations. If they win the division and have the best record in the NL when the regular season is over, they can’t lose in the first round of the playoffs. Even though the NL is pretty evenly matched, losing in the NLDS just would seem disappointing for the NL Central champs.
The Milwaukee Brewers need to win advance beyond their initial series in the postseason for me to consider this season a success. Going one and done just feels like this team didn’t realize it’s full potential. They have too much talent and poured too much into this squad for them to achieve anything less.
If they lose the Wild Card game, many will complain that Stearns didn’t do enough to address the rotation and get an ace. Frankly, if the rotation fails at all in October, fans are going to complain about not getting an ace.