Late in the season, a lot can change in a week. One week ago the Brewers led the NL Central by three games over the Cubs. Since then the Brewers have gone 5 -2 and the Cubs have gone 1 -5 and are on a five-game losing streak.
Now the Brewers lead by 6.5 games (7 in the loss column.) The Reds are back 7. (8 in the loss column.) The Brewers are 84 -65 with thirteen games to go. Based on winning percentage the Brewers (.564) will end up with 91.37 wins. The Cubs project to win a mere 84 games.
At this point the Cubs are more likely concerned about the wildcard race in which they are .5 game up on the Reds. The division is a long shot. If the Cubs go 10 -2 over their last twelve games they still need the Brewers to lose 9 of their last 13 games.
This is unlikely to happen in Craigtember.
The Cubs could still win the ESPN Expected Win/Loss tracker where they lead the Brewers: Cubs expected record: 84 -66 Brewers expected record: 81 -68. This means little to anyone other than some pinheads that by adhering strictly to a bastardization of Pythagoras theorem have themselves become an insignificant sampling error.
The race isn’t over but you get the sense the Brewers aren’t worried. They have continued to use a six-man rotation, make sure bullpen arms get substantial rest and have allowed Yelich to take time to make sure he is totally healthy. This is a team preparing for a playoff run.
An update on how the Brewers fared against my projections at 35 games:
Padres at home for three games: 2 wins ---- Won all 3!
Cubs on the road for three games: 1 win ---- Won 1
Phillies at home for three games: 1 win ---- Won 2
Pirates on the road for three games: 2 wins ---- Won 1
Yankees on the road for three games: 2 wins ---- Won 2
This leaves the Brewers with a good shot at the 90 wins, I believe it will take to win the Central.
Marlins at home for four games: 3 wins ----- won 3 games
Nationals at home for three games: 3 wins ------ won 2 games
Projected wins: 14 wins Actual wins: 14
This leaves the Brewers with a good shot at the 90 wins which seems to definitely
Cardinals on the road for four games: 2 wins
Marlins on the road for three games: 1 win
Cardinals at home for three games: 2 wins
Cubs at home for three games: 1 win
Record 91 – 61
The Brewers magic number is 8 down from 17 just one week ago.
And yes Craigtember is real: 10 – 6 in September. .625 winning percentage.