The Milwaukee Brewers are currently on pace to lock up a playoff spot for the first time since 2011. Here are four reasons why that will happen.
The Milwaukee Brewers were leading the division most of the first half of the season. Even with the extremely bad week they had to end the first half, overall this team has been impressive. They have shown resiliency after losses, especially ending a seven-game losing streak on Saturday night. The Brewers currently trail the Chicago Cubs by three games and it could be a tall order to overtake them.
Milwaukee is not without issues. The bottom half of the order has not been producing, the amount of players cycling through the disabled list is alarming and the starting pitching overall has been underwhelming. With all of that, there is reason to believe the Brewers can overtake the Cubs for the division or hold off the rest of the National League for one of the wild card spots to bring October baseball back to Miller Park.
Josh Hader. Jeremy Jeffress. Corey Knebel. If the starters can get to the seventh inning with a lead, the backend of the bullpen will more than likely lock it down. Hader has an ERA of 1.13, Jeffress a 1.19, and Knebel a 3.76 ERA. Besides these three guys, the rest of the pen has been spectacular as well. This group has been as close to lock-down as relievers can be. If they can all stay healthy and continue pitching at this level, they will play deep into October.
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Every team needs an unsung hero. Someone that at the beginning of the season wasn’t looked at as a player to carry a team, but ends up doing so. Aguilar has been that guy. He went from barely making the 25 man roster out of training camp to becoming one of the most productive and feared hitters in the Brewers line-up. He was voted into the All-Star game by the fans and participated in the home run derby. If he can keep it up in the second half of the season, they will be there at the end.
Off-season acquisitions of Yelich and Cain
Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain have been as advertised since they arrived in Milwaukee. In one day this past off-season, David Stearns redid the top of the lineup and added two all-stars. These two stars have been the most consistent hitters all season. Without them, the Brewers would not have been in the position they are in right now. Both players are getting on base, driving in runs and delivering big hit after big hit. They are a big reason the team has one of the better records in the National League. As long as they both can stay healthy and keep delivering in the clutch, they will be a big part of bringing October baseball to Miller Park.
The trade deadline is looming, being just over a week away. The Brewers were in on the Manny Machado sweepstakes, ultimately not landing him but they were willing to part with prospects to get an impact player. Brewers owner Mark Attanasio is known for making a big move when the team is in contention and pushing all the chips to the middle of the table.
Whether David Stearns can make a big move or not, time will tell. But, it is possible he will make a couple of moves to improve the team like it did last year. By improving second base and adding another starting pitcher, this team could certainly then have a better chance to make the playoffs.
It is going to be an exciting second half of the season. As long as the team remains in contention the next six weeks, September is going to be a lot of fun at Miller Park as the team pushes towards October.