162 games wasn’t enough to decide the NL Central. The Milwaukee Brewers will play the Chicago Cubs in a one-game playoff on Monday afternoon. We’ve got everything you need to know.
The Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs entered Sunday tied for the division lead. They ended Sunday exactly where they started. The Brewers knocked off the Detroit Tigers, while the Cubs handled the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cubs and the Brewers will meet tomorrow to settle the division.
What time is game #163?
First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 PM CST at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
Why is the tiebreaker played in Chicago?
The Chicago Cubs will host the Milwaukee Brewers because the Cubs had a better record in head-to-head match ups. The Cubs won 11 of 19 games played against the Brewers this year.
What are these teams playing for?
Well, the winner of this game wins the NL Central division, and goes straight to the Division Series. The loser will play the loser of the Los Angeles Dodgers/Colorado Rockies tiebreaker at 3:10 PM CST in the Wild Card game.
Then, the team that wins the Wild Card game goes on to play the winner of this game in the NLDS. There’s a non-zero chance that the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs will start a five-game series later in the week.
Who are the starting pitchers?
The Chicago Cubs have announced that Jose Quintana will start on Monday. Quintana has a 4.27 ERA in 71 1/3 innings in the second half of the season. Quintana threw 37 2/3 innings against the Milwaukee Brewers, and posted a 2.17 ERA. He racked up 33 strikeouts, walked 10, and was tagged for five homers. On the season, the Brewers as a team have a .203/.256/.326 slash line against Quintana.
Mike Moustakas is the closest to a ‘Quintana Killer’ the Brewers have. Moustakas slashed .261/.320/.522 in 48 plate appearances against Quintana in 2018.
The Milwaukee Brewers have yet to announce who will start, but their start probably won’t stick around very long. They’ll likely lean on their bullpen in a crucial game like this
Are there any other storylines?
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The Milwaukee Brewers are assured of a playoff spot, but a win on Monday would go a long way towards establishing a national presence. Sending the Chicago Cubs to the Wild Card game, would also send a message to the rest of the division that the Brewers are now the class of the division. A victory would also tell fans that it’s time to expect success. The Brewers are young enough that this shouldn’t be their only playoff appearance, and the time is now to start earning wins that really matter.