The Milwaukee Brewers are going to win the National League Central in a runaway in 2021.
Although the division features two other teams that are alive in the Wild Card race, those clubs are a non-factor in the division at this point.
In fact, it has been months since any team besides Milwaukee was a factor in the division race.
The Brewers have pretty much gone unchallenged in the NL Central this entire season.
While that may sound like an impressive accomplishment, it worries some folks.
Many fans feel that it’s important for a club to be “battle-tested” in order to have success in the postseason.
That’s a term that doesn’t exactly describe Milwaukee this season.
However, there are a couple of reasons why this likely won’t be an issue for the Brewers in the playoffs.
The team has proven this season that it’s a legitimate title contender, and nothing can change that at this point.
Milwaukee’s Starting Pitching Is Simply Too Dominant For There To Be Any Real Concerns About The Team’s Postseason Capability
Burnes is having the best season of his career.
He has a 2.25 ERA over 25 starts, and he leads the league in ERA+ (188), FIP (1.50), home runs per nine (0.3), walks per nine (1.7), strikeouts per nine (12.4), and strikeout-to-walk ratio (7.24).
Where Corbin Burnes now ranks in baseball among qualified pitchers:
fWAR: 1st (7.1)
ERA: 1st (2.25)
FIP: 1st (1.50)
xERA: 1st (1.89)
xFIP: 1st (2.30)
SIERA: 1st (2.59)
K-BB%: 1st (30.5)
HR/9: 1st (0.30)
Barrel rate: 1st (2.6)
K%: 1st-t (35.4)
— Will Sammon (@WillSammon) September 12, 2021
He has been absolutely sensational this season.
Woodruff, on the other hand, has been fantastic as well.
He has a 2.55 ERA, 2.98 FIP, and 0.96 WHIP across 28 outings.
Brandon Woodruff, 98mph ⛽️ pic.twitter.com/xKFpsPpxxs
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 15, 2021
He earned his second career All-Star selection earlier in the season, which he was certainly deserving of.
But with all of that said, the outstanding duo of Burnes and Woodruff often overshadows how dominant the rest of Milwaukee’s rotation is, too.
That’s obviously a great problem for a team to have.
For instance, Freddy Peralta hasn’t gotten the respect he deserves this season.
He has a 2.57 ERA over 26 outings.
They have ERAs of 3.25 and 3.10, respectively.
The Brewers clearly have an excess of weapons in their rotation, and that’s going to bode extremely well for their title chances.
The Brewers Are 36-29 Against Teams With Winning Records
Anytime a team emerges from a weak division, one of the most common concerns is that the club merely feasted on weak competition to reach the playoffs.
In Milwaukee’s case, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Sure, maybe the Brewers have benefited in some ways from playing an easy schedule, but they have taken care of business against quality opponents.
The team’s 36-29 record against teams with winning records is one of the best marks in all of baseball this season.
It shows that the Brewers can hang with MLB’s elite teams.
On a similar note, the Brewers are on a 99-win pace.
Sometimes, a team will emerge from a weak division having only won 90 games or so.
That can’t be said about Milwaukee.
The team has the second-best record in the National League, trailing only the San Francisco Giants (who seemingly can’t be stopped this season).
The Brewers would surely love to win 100 games, and that’s a goal that’s entirely within reach.