Posted by Steve
There are intelligent people and/or complex tools I could use to look at each individual game the rest of the way for both the Brewers and the Cubs to draw a more educated conclusion, but I figure I use BP’s playoff odds enough anyway.
I am bored and there isn’t much to write about from yesterday except that the Astros didn’t do the Brewers any favors, so I’m just going to look at each one and take the Dusty Baker route. Play a hunch, that is. Use my gut instinct. People [always] have been trying to bring me down. Very rarely do I hear what I have done. That’s okay, that’s how it is. Actually, that makes me stronger. It’s okay. What are you going to say when I kick somebody’s [rear]? <—–Actual Dusty Baker quote, for those who didn’t know
Anyways, here’s what I came up with.
- Host Cincinnati for three games
- If the Brewers do not win this series I’ll probably throw in the towel. Not because they wouldn’t still have a chance, but because the Reds are sending out human equivalents of pitching machines this series.
- Today is Tom Shearn (30 year-old rookie) vs. Sheets. Yost is shuffling the rotation around a bit. Suppan hasn’t pitched since Saturday, but they’re still keeping Sheets on regular rest. I have to say I agree with this strategy. Saturday is Suppan vs. Kirk Sarloos and Sunday is Villanueva against Matt Belisle.
- Guessing outcomes based on starting pitchers can be dangerous, but with the match-ups in all three games leaning towards the Brewers, I’d be very disappointed with less than two wins. I’m actually really hoping for a sweep, but I’ll be realistic.
- Prediction: It’s the Reds at home, and they won’t see Harang or Arroyo. Brewers take 2/3.
- Three games at Houston
- The Brewers have pretty much had their way with the Astros this season. Now would be a terrible time for that trend not to continue.
- I’m loving Yo in this series, but I’m getting a little leary of Dave Bush. After a strong six-game stretch, Bush has been pretty awful his last two starts. I don’t like the thought of Bad Dave Bush pitching in a stadium where the left field wall is 75 feet away from home plate.
- Prediction: It’s still the Astros. Brewers take 2/3.
- Four games at Atlanta
- This is probably the series that scares me the most. The Braves are a decent team. The Brewers will also see John Smoltz in this series, who is excellent as usual.
- The Braves are out of the playoff race, so I do have a little hope that Bobby Cox might take it a little bit easy on his pupil Ned.
- Prediction: Four-game series sounds like a split to me. Brewers take 2/4.
- Host St. Louis for three games
- Thanks to a pretty little seven-game slide, the Cards are out of the running. By the time the Cards are here, La Russa won’t even be managing like they’re in the race (hopefully he still is this week against the Cubbies).
- I just love the fact that the Brewers play their last seven games at home. The crowd’s gonna be hoppin, and it will be a great environment. That, plus the fact that the Brewers are the best home team in baseball.
- Prediction: Cards will be done. Brewers take 2/3.
- Host San Diego for four games
- This series should be mayhem. Both teams will likely still be competing for a playoff spot by this time, so the Padres won’t be doing the Brewers any favors.
- Prediction: Four game series against another tough team makes me say split again. Brewers take 2/4.
Best chance to pick up a game
Sweeping Cincinnati this weekend. Three crappy pitchers make that a doable feat.
Best chance to drop a game
The Atlanta series. Four road games against a semi-competent team scare me. They could easily lose three games in this series.
By that count, I have the Brewers going 10-7 the rest of the way. That puts them at 84-78. My realistically optimistic record has them at 85/77, and my realistically pessimistic record is 83/79. Of course they could run off something like 13 of 17 or drop 11 of 17, but I see these three records as the most likely outcome.
I’m pretty sure the magic number will be 85 wins. If the Brewers get there I feel great about their chances of beating out the Cubs. And if my memory serves me correctly, I once wrote for a fine university newspaper that the Brewers would win 85 games and take the division (This was when I still attended college. Don’t worry, you’re probably too young to remember).
There isn’t much else to say right now. 17 games in 17 days is all that remains. I’m nervous as hell but I’m still obviously looking forward to it. In the ultimate act of optimism we even ordered our playoff tickets today. I’ll leave you today with this sweet illustration from the Journal Sentinel and some wise words by which to live.
Brewers! Brewers! Keep Turnin’ Up the Heat!