The Brewers have been dealt an advantageous hand in their pursuit of the NL Central title. They are left with only seven games against winning teams for the remainder of the regular season and will get to control their destiny with all seven of those games being played out in the final 10 days of the year.
Losing Jimmy Nelson for the rest of the year with a shoulder injury is a big blow to the Brewers playoff hopes. Chase Anderson came up big in his first turn pitching on short rest. Now, it will be up to Zach Davies to see if he is capable of the same thing. Anderson and Davies will both have to pitch as many times as possible for the Brewers to make up ground on Chicago.
The Luke Weaver show has taken St. Louis by storm, and the front office will have to take a long, hard look at their handling of the top prospect and refusal to take the ball out of Adam Wainwright’s hand until much too late in the season. Weaver is 5-1 with a 2.16 ERA in nine appearances with 52 strikeouts in 41.2 innings.
Weaver has been one of the best starters in baseball since making the leap to the starting rotation. How much closer to the top of the NL Central or NL Wild Card could the Cardinals have been if the young right-hander had taken starts from Wainwright or Mike Leake two months sooner? The Cardinals have seven games left against the Cubs before the end of the year. Win five of those games, and they could be going to the playoffs.