The Race in the NL Central (Part V)A few weeks ago, the Milwaukee Brewers were running away with the division title. As the calendar changed from August to September, so did their fortunes. While they still hold a solid 6-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals, the Brewers' lead has been sliced in half. The two teams do not face each other again, but the race seems headed down to the wire.
Based upon the remaining schedules for the two teams, Milwaukee still appears to have the edge to win the division title and advance to the postseason, but positioning does make a difference. While they once had the second best record in the National League, the Arizona Diamondbacks have crept up on them. After dropping three of four games at Miller Park to the Philadelphia Phillies, the Brewers want to ensure they don't face them again until the National League Championship Series.
Going into action tonight, the Brewers Magic Number was 10. Again, that means any combination of Brewers wins and Cardinals losses totaling 10 locks up the NL Central title for Milwaukee. Beginning on Tuesday night, the Brewers remaining opponents all possess losing records. The Cardinals also play all but four of their remaining games against teams with losing records. Those four games are against the National League's best team, the Philadelphia Phillies.
As of the start of games tonight, here are the current Magic Numbers:
Central: Milwaukee Brewers - 10
East: Philadelphia Phillies - 6
West: Arizona Diamondbacks - 8
Wild Card: Atlanta Braves - 12
Central: Detroit Tigers - 7
East: New York Yankees - 14
West: Texas Rangers - 14
Wild Card: Boston Red Sox - 14