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History may be on Brewers’ side as the road team in the NL Wild Card game

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Home teams are only 2-5 in NL Wild Card games since the two-wildcard format was created

Milwaukee Brewers v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Getting swept in their final regular season series is not how the Brewers wanted to head into a win-or-go-home NL Wild Card game, but how much has momentum and home field advantage played into the results of the NL’s play-in game since its inception in 2012?

Perhaps luckily for the Brewers, not a whole lot, at least when it comes to playing on the road.

The home team in the NL game is only 2-5 since the two-team Wild Card format was created, and both of those wins came when division rivals played each other: Arizona over Colorado in 2017, and Pittsburgh over Cincinnati in 2013.

Only one other club in the two-team era has gone into the game getting swept: those 2013 Reds, who actually got swept by the Pirates before they played a fourth consecutive game against each other in the Wild Card round. Those Reds ended the year on a 5-game losing streak that allowed the Pirates to leapfrog them in the Wild Card standings.

Teams that swept their final regular season series have had good luck in the small sample, with all three (the 2013 Pirates, the 2015 Cubs, and the 2016 Giants) going on to win the Wild Card game.

The context and circumstances surrounding the Wild Card game are different every year, of course, so it’s hard to read too much into past results. Regardless, here’s how the game has played out since 2012, with how the two teams fared in their final regular season series, and how they did in their last 10 games.

For the sake of comparison, the Nationals swept their final regular season series against Cleveland, 3-0, and are 9-1 in their last 10 games. The Brewers are 7-3 in their last 10 after getting swept in Colorado.

NL Wild Card Game History

Year Team Result Last Series Last 10
Year Team Result Last Series Last 10
2018 Chicago (H) L 2-1 6-4
Colorado (A) W 2-1 9-1
2017 Arizona (H) W 1-2 6-4
Colorado (A) L 1-2 5-5
2016 New York (H) L 2-1 7-3
San Francisco (A) W 3-0 7-3
2015 Pittsburgh (H) L 2-1 6-4
Chicago (A) W 3-0 8-2
2014 Pittsburgh (H) L 1-2 6-4
San Francisco A) W 3-1 4-6
2013 Pittsburgh (H) W 3-0 7-3
Cincinnati (A) L 0-3 4-6
2012 Atlanta (H) L 1-2 7-3
St. Louis (A) W 2-1 7-3