The Brewers find themselves just on the outside of the postseason with only a few games left.
Eight games, seven days, and one game to make up in the standings. This is what will make or break the Brewers 2020 season. They’ve been in positions like this before and they’ve come out on top.
Sitting at 26-26, the Brewers are once again at .500 and are looking to finally get above .500, a mark that has eluded them all season. They will have to do so against the Cincinnati Reds, a team that’s tied with them in the NL Central standings, but they’re 27-27, meaning they’ve played two more games this year and will have two less games to play over the final week.
If the Brewers win both of those extra games, they will push the Reds behind them. However, the easiest way to push the Reds back is to win the three game series against them. While a sweep would be nice, the Reds are 8-2 over their last 10 and are playing very good baseball right now. With both teams fighting for their playoff lives, a sweep in any one direction is unlikely and would spell doom for the losing side’s playoff hopes.
The good news is, the Brewers offense has come alive over the last week, scoring at least five runs in five out of their previous six games. The bulk of that damage came against a Royals pitching staff that’s improving, but still not quite that great. The bad news is, they’ll have to face the Reds rotation next and they are throwing their best.
Luis Castillo (3.03 ERA) will pitch the first game, Sonny Gray (3.94 ERA) will have the second game, and Trevor Bauer (1.80 ERA) will pitch the final game. These are the three best arms Cincinnati has to offer. This will present a huge challenge to this Brewers offense that just got their feet underneath them.
It’s taken them almost two months to find their footing, and this Reds pitching staff threatens to knock them off it.
The Brewers need the momentum and positivity train to keep rolling to get to the postseason.
Hitting is contagious and the Brewers appear to have finally caught it. The “positivity train” as the Brewers call it, has been their rallying cry, their mantra to keep things moving forward. It’s gotten them to a four game winning streak, which is their longest of the season and vaulted them back into the playoff race.
No matter what happens with the Reds series, everything will come down to the five game series against the Cardinals to finish out the year. The Brewers took three out of five last time and will need to do so again.
Corbin Burnes will start one of those games and Brandon Woodruff will start one of those games. That should lead to two victories right there, which would mean the Brewers need to win just one of the games started by Josh Lindblom, Adrian Houser, and Brett Anderson. The way Lindblom and Anderson have been pitching lately, confidence is increasing that the Brewers can win those games.
In 2018, the Brewers went into St. Louis and swept the Cardinals to clinch a playoff spot and eliminate St. Louis from the postseason. They are in a position where they can clinch and then eliminate the Cardinals in St. Louis once again in 2020.
The Brewers control their own destiny. As long as they handle their own business against their remaining opponents, they’ll be in the postseason. They only have one game to make up in the standings, and they have one week left. It all comes down to this.
The 60 game regular season has gone by in a flash. This next week will determine a lot about this organization’s future.