The Milwaukee Brewers have gone on an incredible surge as of late. But can they ride this wave all the way to another NL Central division title?
To call this recent run of 11 wins in 13 games, all after the loss of NL MVP candidate Christian Yelich, surprising, would be a massive understatement. No one expected the Milwaukee Brewers to be where they are now after losing Yelich.
The Brewers were basically treading water for the first five months of the season and ended August being 6.5 games back in the division with Fangraphs giving them only a 8.1% chance of making the playoffs and a 1.6% chance to win the division.
They have since gone 17-4 in the month of September, and their playoff chances are at 97.1% while their division title hopes are up to 5.1%.
But if the Brewers can bring their playoff hopes up from the single digits to a near-certainty now, can they do the same for their NL Central title chances?
Can The Brewers Win The NL Central?
Currently, they sit three games back with six to play, so mathematically, yes, but they’re going to need some help. The best case scenario this weekend would’ve been the Brewers sweeping the Pirates, which they did, and the Cubs and Cardinals beating up on each other and splitting that four game series. That way, Milwaukee could’ve gained ground on the Cardinals, and separated from the Cubs.
But in the rare time when Brewers fans want the Cubs to win, instead, the Cubs lost all four games to the Cardinals…..at home. They couldn’t even help themselves out to possibly salvage their playoff hopes, continually blowing leads late in games. That certainly makes things more difficult for the Brewers now.
But there’s still hope.
The Cardinals now face off against a tough Arizona team that has their playoff hopes on the brink of extinction. It’s still a good squad down there and they could give the Redbirds a hard fight.
If Arizona can take two of three from the Cardinals in that series, the Milwaukee Brewers division hopes are alive and well, provided the Crew can sweep Cincinnati of course. Then the Brewers would sit just one game back with three to play. Those final three games are against the Rockies, who are dead last in the NL West, and the Cardinals play the Cubs again, who might be pretty mad after getting whooped at home this past weekend.
If the Brewers can be just one game back of the Cardinals heading into that final weekend, then they just need the Cubs to win two games (with a Brewers sweep) for the outright division title. If the Cubs win one game, then it’s another tie, and another Game 163 on the road for the Brewers.
Based on their play this weekend, banking on the Cubs to win more than one game against the Cardinals is a baseless hope. They look like they’re dead in the water. Anthony Rizzo has been hurt, Javier Baez has been hurt, and now Kris Bryant is hurt.
It’s still a longshot, but the Milwaukee Brewers need the Cardinals to lose four of their final six to win the division outright, and three of the final six to earn a tie-breaking Game 163.
Fangraphs has the Brewers current division title odds at 5.1%. Back on September 5th, their total playoff odds were at 5.6%. It just goes to show that with a hot streak and a little bit of luck, anything is possible.
This week, we are all Arizona Diamondbacks fans. And this weekend, when the Cubs take on the Cardinals again, we are all….rooting for St. Louis to lose.