The Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers are in a tight race for the NL Central heading into the final day of the MLB season. The playoff scenarios are relatively simple. The winner of the division will be the No. 1 seed in the National League, while the loser will play in the Wild Card game. How that happens is a bit more complicated.
Both the Cubs and Brewers need a win along with the other team to lose to win the division outright. If both teams win or lose, there will be a one-game playoff on Monday for the NL Central. If both teams lose, it would essentially mean three straight days of playoff-level baseball since the NL Wild Card game will be on Tuesday, October 2nd.
Regardless of today’s games, both the Cubs and Brewers will finish with a better record than the NL West winner. However, the second place team would still be relegated to the Wild Card matchup since the NL West team won their division.
The Cubs host the Cardinals in their final game of the regular season, while the Brewers host the Tigers in their finale. Cubs fans expected the division to be wrapped up by now, but the Chicago manager is not worried.
“There’s nothing to lament with our guys,” Maddon told USA Today. “They’ve been playing very well for a long period of time. Our route’s been a little different than everybody else. We’ll come back ready to play (Sunday) and see how it all falls.”
Christian Yelich has been a big reason for the Brewers success. Yelich noted the team feels more excitement than nervousness over the tight playoff race.
“You play all those games and it still comes down to 162,” Yelich told MLB.com. “I was saying earlier, how those cliches — ‘One game at a time,’ ‘All these games count,’ ‘Opening Day is the same as a day in June’ — and look where we’re at. Dead even at 161 with 162 to play. But it’s a lot of fun. I think everybody is really excited. I think we’re expecting a lot of energy.”
Here’s a look at the NL Central and Wild Card standings.
NL Wild Card Standings
|St. Louis Cardinals (eliminated)||88||73||2.0|
NL Division Leaders & Seeds
|T-1. Chicago Cubs||94||67|
|T-1. Milwaukee Brewers||94||67|
|T-2. Colorado Rockies||90||71|
|T-2. LA Dodgers||90||71|
|3. Atlanta Braves||90||71|
NL Tiebreaker Games (If Necessary) on Monday, October 1st
Here’s a look at the schedule if either the NL Central or NL West requires a playoff game for the division. The schedule depends on whether there is a playoff game for just one division, or if both require a tiebreaker game. The game(s) would be on Monday, October 1st.
Brewers at Cubs (If just one game) ESPN 4:09 p.m. ET
Rockies at Dodgers (If just one game) ESPN 4:09 p.m. ET
Brewers at Cubs (If two games) ESPN 1:05 p.m. ET
Rockies at Dodgers (If two games) ESPN 4:09 p.m. ET