Milwaukee Brewers: Division Favorites!

Tasos Katopodis

The season is young but Brewers are off to a great start. Is it enough to change how we perceive their postseason chances?

Coming into this season I felt the Brewers had a very realistic chance at competing for one of the wild card spots. I imagine a lot of you felt the same way. The first month of the season isn't over yet, so yeah small sample size, but the Brewers have the best record in baseball. They've done it while in the midst of their toughest stretch of the season. They're in first place in the National League Central, 4.5 games ahead of the second place (pre-season division favorite) St. Louis Cardinals. I say "pre-season" because as of yesterday Baseball Prospectus now projects the Brewers as having the better chance to not only make the postseason but win the division.

The Brewers are by no means a safe bet but Baseball Prospectus now gives them a 10% better chance of winning the division than the Cardinals. That's great, but it's also pretty abstract so here are some more numbers to help better visual things. If both teams were to play .500 ball for the rest of the season the Brewers would have 86 wins and the Cardinals would have 81-82 wins. To get to 86 wins the Cardinals would have to win 53.2% (74-65) of the rest of their games. To get to 90 wins, the perceived minimum for the second wild card, the Brewers would have to win 52.8% (74-66) of the rest of their games and the Cards would need 56.11% (78-61). The last two years the NL Central division champion won 97 games. To get there the Brewers need a win percentage of 57.85% (81-59) and the Cardinals need a win percentage of 61.15% (85-54).

Of course it's early but the Brewers are positioned nicely. All they really have to do is more or less keep pace with the rest of the division and more specifically the Cardinals. So what do you think? Have you changed your hopes or expectations for the Brewers this year? Too early for you?

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