The Milwaukee Brewers are only 1/2 game behind the Chicago Cubs for the NL Central. How realistic is a division win for the Brewers?
The Milwaukee Brewers earned another win over the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates picked up another victory over the Chicago Cubs. The difference in the NL Central between the Cubs and Brewers is less than a game. One Brewers win or one Cubs loss is all that separates the division lead. Can the Brewers force the Cubs into the Wild Card?
What are the ‘Magic Numbers’?
The Milwaukee Brewers Magic Number for the Wild Card is now at ‘2’. The Chicago Cubs Magic Number for the division sits at ‘5’. The Brewers need a combination of two wins or Colorado Rockies losses to clinch the Wild Card. The Cubs need five wins or Brewers losses to clinch the division.
How many games remain on the schedule?
The Cubs have two more with the Pirates, and a three-game set with the St. Louis Cardinals, who are still in the Wild Card race. The Milwaukee Brewers have one more game with the Cardinals, before hosting the Detroit Tigers.
Are there any easy pitching match ups to watch out for?
For the Cubs? They have to face Ivan Nova and Trevor Williams in the final two games against the Pirates. Adam Wainwright, Jack Flaherty, and Miles Mikolas are scheduled to face the Cubs in the final three games. Wainwright looks like the easiest match up on paper, but none of these games will be ‘easy’.
The Milwaukee Brewers go for the sweep on Wednesday and send Jhoulys Chacin against the Cardinals John Gant. The three guys called ‘TBA’ in the final series with the Detroit Tigers. However, the Brewers haven’t announced their starters for the final series either.
What are the current odds to win the division?
Heading into Tuesday night’s slate of games, the Chicago Cubs odds of winning the division were at 82.7%. The Milwaukee Brewers had a 16.9% chance to take the division. The Brewers odds increased to 23.8% with the win, and went up to 34.8%, which is where they’re at now.
How did we get here?
It’s actually pretty simple. The Cubs are 5-5 in their last 10, while the Brewers are 6-4. The division has tightened up in the past few weeks, and even just a one-game advantage can help swing the division. The Cubs have also lost three of their last five, and the Brewers have won five of their last six.
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Keep in mind, a half game lead is still a lead. Momentum is on the Milwaukee Brewers side right now, but that could shift in a moment. It’s very likely that the division won’t have a winner until the final days of the season. The Brewers are at a disadvantage because they need a Cubs loss to gain ground. If the Cubs win their final five games, all the Brewers can do is watch.