If the season ended today, the Brewers would be the second seed in the National League playoffs. San Francisco is the first seed. Then the Brewers. Followed by the Braves and then the fourth seed, top wildcard team, Dodgers and finally the second wildcard team the Padres.
The Dodgers have a really good chance of being the top wild card seed and will have a home game against the Padres or perhaps the Reds. If they catch the Giants for the West division title than the Giants will host that first wildcard game.
The number one seed will then have home field advantage in a five game series against the winner of the wildcard game. Currently the Brewers, as the second seed will play the winner of the East.
I contend that the Brewers don't really want to overtake the Giants to become the top seed because:
1. As the second seed they first play the winner of the East which is probably the worst team in the playoffs. They may have the worse record, or at very lease, they got their record playing other East division teams rather than those teams out west. The first series is only best of 5 games; so the Brewers would prefer to have this against a lesser opponent.
2. Playing the division championship round without home field advantage is actually an advantage: The Brewers have a better road record than a home record and playing more games in LA or SF in a pitchers park plays into the Brewers strength. This series is best of seven.
3. Letting the teams out west beat up on each other. Very likely it will be SF and LA playing each other in a marathon 5 game series. The best opportunity for the Brewers to finish a series early is to play the team from the east in the first round.
3. The ability to rest and relax. Peralta's injury is a perfect example. If the Brewers want to push towards the best record in the NL, they won't be as careful with this injury. Being able to give Narvaez or Gomez or others a few extra days off would be nice. And perhaps the Brewers can limit the use of the A bullpen in late September because they really don't care if they win 96 or 99 games .
4. Game time for JBJ. Maybe, if the Brewers can play him for the last 10 games of the regular season, he will get hot. You probably won't do this if you are trying to win all those games.
Should the Brewers try to attain the best record in the NL or just coast to a division title?