Sunday, August 14, 2011

Why are the Brewers pulling away in the NL Central?

2011 Milwaukee Brewers

Overall: 69-51
Home: 43-15 (#1 in ML)
Road: 26-36 (#22)

Home: 8-5 (#7)
Road: 5-7 (#23)

Home: 13-2 (#1)
Road: 4-10 (#26)

Home: 8-4 (#6)
Road: 6-9 (#22)

Home: 10-3 (#3)
Road: 6-8 (#16)

Home: 4-1 (#t-1)
Road: 5-1 (#4)

The Brewers have a solid lead in the NL Central (5 games over Cardinals) and are on the verge of running away with the division.  If the Cards can hang around a few more weeks, they'll get 6 more games against the Brewers over 9 days (August 30-September 7th). 

For most of the season, they were stuck barely over .500 despite their incredible play at home.  On June 30th, they had the best home record (29-11) and the 2nd worst road record (15-27).  If that had continued, they probably would have stayed in the race in a weak division but ended up not making the playoffs. 

Since the All Star Break, they played much better on the road, going 5-6 on a brutal 11 game road trip after the All Star Game and 5-1 on a recent trip (it should be noted that 3 were in Houston).

For the rest of the season, they have 23 home games vs. 19 on the road and many of the road games appear to be winnable (13 against Mets, Pirates, Astros, Cubs).  One good road trip could be a fluke, so it will be important see how they do on their next trip (Aug 19-24; 3 @ Mets, 4 @ Pirates). 

For most of the year, they loved hitting at home (#6 in runs) and hated hitting on the road (#24), but they did score 34 runs in 6 games on their last road trip (again, most against the Astros).  It will also be very important to see how Zack Greinke does on the road, because he struggled for most of the year but has been great in his last 3 road starts (2 ER in 20 IP).  The Brewers have a great shot at making the playoffs, and one of the main reasons is that they've finally become respectable on the road.

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