Entering its game on Monday versus the Cincinnati Reds, the Milwaukee Brewers trail the Chicago Cubs by 3 ½ games in the race for the National League Central.
However, the wildcard standing in the NL are tightening up as the Brewers are just a half-game behind in the race of the second and final NL wildcard berth.
In their last 19 games, Milwaukee is 13-6, which is baseball’s second best record dating back to August 12. They have gone from trailing by 6 ½ games in the race of wildcard to just a half game.
Milwaukee’s best strength is its home run hitting. Entering its afternoon game on Monday, the Brewers have hit a home run in 3.8% of their overall plated appearances which is No. 5 in baseball.
In 137 games played, the Brewers have 195 home runs, and are on pace to have 230 for the season, which would be one home run shy of the team’s franchise record that was set 11 seasons ago.
Milwaukee is accomplishing this with the seventh youngest lineup on offense in all of baseball this season. They have seven of their players with at least 10 home runs in their 27 year old or younger season, which is tied for the most in baseball with rivals the Cubs.
The payroll for the Brewers is $63 million for this current season, which is the lowest in all of baseball. They are getting lots of production for little money out of certain players.
Perhaps the best bargain of all is Jimmy Nelson. He has turned into the ace for the team this season.
Nelson is averaging more than 10 strikeouts per nine innings thus far this season. The only NL pitchers that are striking out more per nine innings are Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasberg and Jacob deGrom.
Stats show that the Rockies have been either the leader in the NL West or tied for one of the NL wildcard positions every day this season, excluding April 2, when there had yet to play their first game.
That might all change when with a win by Milwaukee and a loss on Monday by the Rockies.
On Monday the two NL teams are virtually identical on futures boards for odds of reaching the postseason, with both teams having a chance of 39% of claiming a playoff spot in the league.