- The Milwaukee Brewers are 12-2 in their last 14 games
- Despite the loss to injury of reigning National League MVP, Christian Yelich they’ve played their way into playoff contention
- The Brewers’ average World Series odds shortened from +8333 to +3250
When Christian Yelich went down, most thought he’d take the Milwaukee Brewers with him. The reigning National League MVP suffered a season-ending knee injury earlier this month, but surprisingly, it didn’t end the Brewers.
In fact, it appears to have inspired them.
Milwaukee has won five of their last six games and 12 of the past 14. With nine games remaining in the regular season, the 83-70 Brewers are currently holding down the second NL Wild-Card spot, one game ahead of the Chicago Cubs.
Sportsbooks are buying into the Brewers’ surge. Across the leading betting sites, Milwaukee’s average 2019 World Series odds have improved from +8333 to +3250. They are as short as +2800 at one leading sportsbook.
2019 World Series Odds: National League Teams
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+275|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+1200|
|New York Mets||+3300|
|San Francisco Giants||+100000|
Odds taken on 09/20/19.
Last season, the Brewers lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the NL Championship Series.
Brewers Making September Push
Milwaukee is 14-4 in the month of September, 8-2 in their last 10, and has won five of its last six games. Over that same span, the Cubs are 5-5 and losers of three straight.
The Brewers open a three-game home series against the 65-88 Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday. The Brew Crew is 12-4 against the Bucs this season.
Milwaukee finishes up with six road games. The Brewers start with three at the 72-81 Cincinnati Reds. They’ve split the season series 8-8. But Milwaukee is 4-2 at Cincinnati.
They close out with three games at the 66-87 Colorado Rockies. Those two teams have divided four games thus far in 2019.
Cubs lose to the Cardinals.
Your updated NL Wild Card standings:
— SNY (@SNYtv) September 20, 2019
Last year, the Brew Crew used a 20-7 charge over the final month of the 2018 campaign to earn the NL Central Division title.
Others Coming Back
While Yelich is out, the Brewers did get left-hander Brandon Woodruff (11-3, 3.69 ERA) back from an oblique injury. He pitched two scoreless innings in Tuesday’s 3-1 win over the San Diego Padres. It was Woodruff’s first appearance since July 21.
Brandon Woodruff threw two hitless innings with one walk and four strikeouts in his first start since a July 21 oblique strain. 37 pitches, 23 strikes. The idea is to stretch him a little further next time out. pic.twitter.com/7PHUFGyCuu
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) September 18, 2019
Minus the bat of Yelich, Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell is playing it safe with outfielders Ryan Braun (lower back tightness) and Lorenzo Cain (knee), who are nursing nagging ailments. He’s been giving each of them the occasional day off to allow there to be some healing time.
Picking Up The Slack For Yelich
You don’t replace an MVP in a team’s lineup. Certainly not one as valuable as Yelich, who was leading the NL in OPS, had swiped 30 bases, and was threatening 50 homers.
Ryan Braun homered wearing @ChristianYelich's jersey under his own.
This is awesome. pic.twitter.com/LmKoXH2tsH
— MLB (@MLB) September 12, 2019
Others, though, are picking up the slack. Milwaukee has a different hero every day.
Braun’s double drove in the winning run in Wednesday’s 5-1 victory over the Padres. His ninth-inning grand slam beat the Cardinals 7-6 on Sunday.
Whatever you do this morning, don't start looking at just how good and impactful Yasmani Grandal has been for the Brewers this year, and consider that they got him for one year and $18.25M because other teams are idiots.
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) September 20, 2019
Third baseman Mike Moustakas, himself just back from injury, hit a go-ahead homer against San Diego. Rookie second baseman Keston Hiura is also back after two weeks on the IL, and has reached base safely in each of the last three games. Catcher Yasmani Grandal has homered six times in September.
Playoffs, Yes. World Series? No
Starting pitching has proven to be Milwaukee’s Achilles heel all season. Injuries depleted their rotation. When it comes to the mound, it often takes a village to get the Brewers a victory.
Brewers pitching has been a different animal after rosters expand.
'18 pre-9/1: 3.94 ERA (15th of 30)
'18 post 9/1: 2.70 ERA (1st of 30)
'19 pre-9/1: 4.48 ERA (18th of 30)
'19 post-9/1: 3.22 ERA (2nd of 30)
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) September 20, 2019
They can patchwork their way back to the postseason. But with a strong rotation, Milwaukee won’t be brewing up a World Series victory.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.