Brewers News

Brewers Stumble Into Playoffs, Rematch Of 2018 NLCS With Dodgers

ST LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 26: Ryan Braun #8 of the Milwaukee Brewers rounds third base after hitting a homer against the St. Louis Cardinals in the fourth inning at Busch Stadium on September 26, 2020 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 26: Ryan Braun #8 of the Milwaukee Brewers rounds third base after hitting a homer against the St. Louis Cardinals in the fourth inning at Busch Stadium on September 26, 2020 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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The Milwaukee Brewers are miraculously postseason-bound!

Entering a must-win game, the Brewers could’ve clinched a playoff spot the easy way. Instead, they clinched one the hard way.

Brett Anderson left early with a blister on his finger, Freddy Peralta struggled to get outs, and the Brewers lost 5-2, gifting the Cardinals a playoff spot. By losing their game, the Brewers needed both the Phillies and Giants to lose as well so the Brewers could sneak into the No. 8 spot in the expanded playoffs.

Thankfully, both the Phillies and Giants came up short in their quests and gifted the Brewers a postseason berth.

Brewers Rewarded For Their Lack Of Success

At no point during the 2020 season were the Milwaukee Brewers ever sitting above .500 in the standings. They reached .500 a couple of times, but could never quite get above it. Yet somehow, they made the postseason.

The offense is one of the worst in baseball this year, and yet they’re among the teams fighting for the World Series title in October.

The Brewers have the 4th-worst team batting average in the NL, 4th-lowest total runs scored, and lead the league in strikeouts. Yet somehow, they made it.

The Brewers lost five out of their last eight games and lost their final two series’ of the year, both against the teams that were ahead of them in the standings.

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This can be attributed to the expanded playoffs for 2020, where eight teams make the postseason from each league instead of the usual five. In a normal postseason, the Brewers wouldn’t be anywhere close to making it.

Instead they’re rewarded with facing a familiar foe.

A Rematch Of The 2018 NLCS

The No. 8 seed Milwaukee Brewers will face off against the No. 1 seed Los Angeles Dodgers in a best-of-3 series out in Los Angeles.

The last time these two teams faced each other in the postseason was 2018 in the NLCS, where they went seven games and the Dodgers broke the Crew’s hearts in the end. It was a heated series, thanks to Manny Machado, who is now with the Padres and just helped the Brewers make the playoffs by defeating the Giants.

So many things have changed from that 2018 Brewers team to this 2020 team. The 2018 team was centered on a strong offense and got by with the little pitching that they had. This 2020 team is only successful because of a strong pitching staff and get by with what little offense they can generate.

The Dodgers have been the best team in baseball all season long, while the Brewers have scuffled, only showing small snippets of explosive play.

Still, this should make for an intriguing matchup in a best-of-3 series. Originally, Corbin Burnes was going to be slated to start Game 1 with Brandon Woodruff likely going in Game 2, which would present the Crew’s best chances of winning and advancing. However, with Burnes going on the IL for an oblique strain, the Game 1 picture has been muddied.

Woodruff has been excellent down the stretch, but the Brewers need another starting pitcher to perform well if they’re going to advance past the Dodgers. They will need someone like Josh Lindblom or Brent Suter to step up and fill the big shoes left behind by Burnes.

Of course, even if the pitching is great, the offense will still need to get across some runs against the strong Dodgers pitching staff, including Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw. It might even line up for a Woodruff-Kershaw matchup in Game 2, which would be exciting.

This is baseball, and anything can happen. They can win two games against the Dodgers, they have a good bullpen and the starting pitching should be able to get the job done. This offense has broken out for 18+ runs in games before, and they can break out for big run totals again.

Get ready, because October is coming.

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The Brewers may not be the most talented team in the postseason this year, but they can play spoiler. They’re playing with house money as it is, they got nothing to lose at this point.

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