Brewers are still in first!

Mike McGinnis

We're a third of the way through 2014 and the Brewers are still holding on to first place in the NL Central. How good do we feel about the postseason now?

The Brewers haven't had the best of months this May. They lost some really aggravating games to some pretty awful teams. They won some pretty memorable games too though. As a result they're 10 games above .500 so at worst they'll finish May eight games above .500 and can still finish 12 games up. In point of fact, this is a franchise best for the Brewers at the 1/3 marker. Also, the Cardinals lost last night giving the Brewers a 2.5 game lead on them meaning they're guaranteed to finish May in first place. Yeah, it's too soon to really be watching the standings, but it's still fun.

There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic too. The roughest stretch of the season is now in the past. The month of June looks like a cake walk in comparison. Brewers only have 7 games against an opponent with a .500 or better record. That would be the Rockies. They play 3 in Colorado and 4 in Milwaukee. I'm usually pretty skeptical about home-road splits, but with the unique altitude at Coors Field it might be meaningful that the Rockies are much worse on the road. If there is something real to it, then that favors the Brewers.

The offense scuffled mightily for most of May, but has really turned it on recently. They've had 10 or more hits in the last 7 games and scored 6 or more runs in 6 of the last 8 games. Khris Davis has been brilliant the last couple of weeks and has increased his wRC+ to 112! Jean Segura has started heating up as well hitting 321/356/393, 108 wRC+ over the last two weeks. Carlos Gomez's back seems to be all right and Ryan Braun seems healthy-ish. At least they're both playing again. By the way, all this hitting is coming while the team still isn't at full strength. Aramis Ramirez hasn't played since May 10th but is nearing his return. The trio of Gomez, Braun and Ramirez haven't played in a game together since April 26th. I can tell you I'm very much looking forward to replacing Overbay's bat with a healthy Ramirez.

Since the Brewers are already 10 games above .500 and are facing less than quality teams for much of June,  I think it's a good bet they end June well above .500. The (non-waiver) trade deadline is midnight on July 31st and while the Brewers sometimes wait to make trades, this year I think we can expect some early action. They're in a position where they don't need a C.C. Sabathia type superstar. They just need help on the bench, mostly in the form of a left-handed power bat. Those types of trades are easier (read cheaper) to make, and often happen well before the deadline. The point in all of this is that the team could be even better or at least more complete in another month or so. I don't know what they'll do, but in my mind it's almost a foregone conclusion they'll acquire some kind of help.

I kept telling people in March if the Brewers were .500 after May that I thought they'd take one of the Wild Card spots. Clearly I'm feeling pretty confident about their chances now. What about you guys? Register your votes and then let me know how you feel in the comments.

Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs.

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