The Brewers have a 7-game lead in the division and over a 90% chance to make the playoffs, but larger goals still loom.
The sweep of the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend put the Milwaukee Brewers in a great position. They now hold a 7-game lead in the division and prevented the Reds from making up any ground over the last two series. FanGraphs now gives the Brewers a season-high 92.6% chance of making the playoffs (91.2% as division winner, 1.5% as wild card) and projects them for a 92-win season. Baseball-Reference is a little lower, putting them at a 88.8% chance to make the postseason. While it’s not a guarantee that the Brewers will make the postseason at this point, the Brewers are in prime position to get there for the fourth straight season.
That doesn’t mean the work of this season is over, though. Making the playoffs for a franchise-record fourth straight season would be amazing, but there’s still more to consider. The Brewers haven’t been to the World Series in 29 years, and with the Milwaukee Bucks currently in the NBA Finals, the Brewers don’t want to be outshined for too long. However, a World Series appearance will be difficult on its own, much less a World Series win.
Baseball-Reference breaks down the probabilities, and it gives us a picture of where the Brewers are at right now. B-Ref gives the Brewers a 44.3% chance to make the League Championship series, which is second in the NL. That makes sense, as the current standings make it very likely that the NL West will play in a mini-bracket for one NLCS spot, with the other going to the winner between the NL Central and NL East. However, the chances of winning the NLCS and making it to the World Series is currently at 16.4%, third in the NL behind the Dodgers (36.1%) and Giants (20%). As for winning the World Series, that is currently at 7.6%, which is sixth in all of MLB.
What that leads to is a question on how the Brewers should handle the deadline. Is another playoff appearance enough? Should the Brewers push to make it to the World Series, or even win it all? If so, how hard should they push? Those are questions that will have to be answered in the two weeks leading to the trade deadline.
The trade deadline this season is July 30, and it’s a hard trade deadline now. No major league trades can happen after this date. The old waiver trades of previous seasons are gone, after July 30 the only way you can add a major-league player is by claiming them through waivers. That means that if the Brewers want to make any additions, they have to do it before then.
That brings us to the polls for today. What do you want to see the Brewers do? Some of this will depends on the team’s needs, and some will depend on what is available and for what price. In the past, if a good deal is out there, David Stearns will sometimes make the move even if it isn’t in the team’s top need. As long as it improves the team overall, many deals will be in play.
Vote in each of the polls below, and then let us know why you voted the way you did in the comments.