The Milwaukee Brewers currently sit 2.5 games back of the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central standings as we head into the final week of the season.
The Cubs have seven games remaining, while the Brewers only have six. It’s coming down to the wire once again between these two teams who both have critical matchups against the Cardinals to finish out the season.
The Brewers start a three game series against the Cardinals on Monday and the Cubs face the Redbirds for their final three games of the season. As always, the Cardinals are a dangerous team this time of year.
Route To The Division Title
As I stated in this piece back on August 27th, it would take close to 95 wins for the Milwaukee Brewers to win this division. They currently sit at 89. With six games to go, they need to win all of them to reach 95.
Since the final three games are against the Tigers, who have a -142 run differential and a 25-50 record on the road, we can assume those games should be easy wins for the Crew, especially with the motivation of a division title.
The Cardinals series will be much tougher, however. But the Brewers are playing well right now and are lining up their pitching staff to give them the best chance to win in each game. If they can sweep the Cardinals and the Tigers, the Cubs would need to go 3-4 over their final seven games to give the Brewers the division.
The Cubs have to face the Pirates for four games and the Cardinals for three to end their season. The Pirates have been giving the Brewers fits all season and could stand to do the same to the Cubs. If they can take at least two games and split the series, and the Cardinals can manage to take at least two games in their series, the Brewers would win the division.
But we can’t be assured of a Brewers sweep of the Cardinals. Let’s say the Brewers win two of three games and sweep the Tigers. That puts them at 94 wins and the Cubs would need to go 2-5 over their final seven games to give the Brewers the title. It’s not an impossible scenario, but it’s not a probable scenario either.
Help From Other Teams
Even though most Brewers fans were annoyed with how well the Pirates have been playing over the last few weeks against the Crew, we’re all now big supporters of the Pirates and need them to be a tough opponent. They need to at least split their series with the Cubs for the Brewers to have a realistic shot at the division.
The Cardinals are going to be the most awkward to root for. Not because of past rivalries but because the Brewers need to beat them pretty handily in this series, which would knock the Redbirds out of playoff contention and potentially eliminate them. But at the same time, Brewers fans will be asking the Cardinals to play hard against the Cubs to end the season to help the Brewers jump to the top.
If the Cardinals could come back and sweep the Cubs maybe there’s a chance they could sneak into the second Wild Card spot even after a potential series loss or sweep to the Brewers. But do we really want to potentially face the Cardinals in the playoffs either?
It’s an awkward situation indeed.
Nevertheless, the Milwaukee Brewers can still win this division, but they can’t afford any missteps. They’ve already missed too many opportunities this month. I’ve said before that the Brewers needed to go 22-8 over their final 30 games to give themselves a chance at the division. They’ve gone 16-8 since then. They could only afford eight losses, and they’ve already used them up.
Now they need some help from the Pirates and Cardinals if they’re going to pull off this miracle.
The Milwaukee Brewers were in great position to strike and take this division lead earlier in the month, but they lost some critical games to the Pirates and the Reds and it’s cost them.