Brewers Still Outside of the NL Wild Card Hunt

Brewers

The Milwaukee Brewers are fighting for their lives right now. After leading the NL Central for 95 days, the Brewers fell apart after the trade deadline. The unity of this team seemed to be affected after Milwaukee traded away closer Josh Hader. Plus, they went 12-15 in August. While they couldn’t find any continuity, now is the time to rebound. However, time is quickly running out for the Brewers. 

The Brewers have made playoffs every year since 2018. With the new expanded playoff format this year, most would have thought the Brewers would be a virtual lock to play in October. However, with their disappointing August, along with the Cardinals winning 22 of 29 and capturing the NL Central, this team could miss out.

Brewers Final Week of the Season

The season’s final week will be nerve-racking for this Brewers team and their fans. The NL Wild Card standings have Milwaukee trailing the Philadelphia Phillies by 1.5 games and the San Diego Padres by three. Meanwhile, the Atlanta Braves already punched their ticket to the postseason, holding the top Wild Card spot.

Unlike in previous years, there will be no game 163 if a tie exists. Due to their wins, the Phillies and the Padres hold the tiebreakers over the Brewers. So, this means they trail the Phillies by 2.5 games and the Padres by 4.0.

The Final Homestand

They appear to be in a good spot with nine games to go. All nine games are at home, with two against the first-place St Louis Cardinals, who could rest some of their key players. Then they have four against the Miami Marlins and close out the 2022 regular season with three games against the Arizona Diamondbacks, both of whom are not playoff bound. They’re looking to end the season and move on to 2023, so they may not have much to play for, which could be good for a hungry and still fighting Brewers team.

Andrew McCutchen Needs to Contribute

Milwaukee will need all their players to contribute if they want to get a Wild Card spot. However, Andrew McCutchen might be an essential player. When the Brewers signed him this year, he hoped he would provide that extra bat and his leadership. His leadership has been there, but he has struggled with his bat almost all season.

He is hitting just .240, and his slugging percentage is one of the lowest of his career. On top of that, his .312 on-base percentage is the lowest mark of his 14 seasons.

He can be a streaky hitter, which would be an excellent time to get on one of those hitting streaks. If he can at least provide some big hits in the last week of the season, it would take a lot of pressure off the other hitters.

Not A Favorable Schedule 

One thing that could prove to be a problem for the Brewers is the Phillies’ schedule. The Phillies have ten games left. While all are road games, six of them are against the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals. Both teams are not in the playoff, and teams are looking to end their seasons as soon as possible and move on. Then, the Phillies finish up against the Houston Astros, who could rest their starters, so they are ready for the playoffs. This could give the Phillies an edge in all ten games.

However, if there is one thing we know about baseball, it can be difficult to win on the road, regardless of who your opponent is and any perceived advantage. That could help the Brewers.

It’s Up to the Brewers

Ultimately, it is up to the Brewers to take care of business. We know anything can happen, and as long as they win, they can pressure Padres and Phillies to do the same. In addition, the Brewers have made some amazing late-season runs during manager Craig Counsell’s tenure the past couple of years.

There will be a lot of excitement this last week of the 2022 MLB season. Hopefully, the Brewers and their fans can enjoy the ride while watching to see if this team can slip in and get that playoff spot.

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Players/managers mentioned:

Josh Hader, Andrew McCutchen, Craig Counsell