|Brew Crew hard for defending champion Cubs to shake|
The New York Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers apparently didn’t get the memo. As Labor Day arrives across Major League Baseball, four of the six divisional races appear to already be settled.
The Washington Nationals have opened a massive 15-game lead in the National League East Division. Both the LA Dodgers and Houston Astros have huge 13.5 game cushions in the NL and AL West Divisions respectively. And the Cleveland Indians have run away to a 9-game lead in the AL Central.
In the AL East, the young and talented Boston Red Sox came into 2017 as favorites. And the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs were expected to run away with the NL Central crown.
However, a check of the standings as MLB games get underway on this Monday, September 4 holiday reveals that both teams are facing serious challenges.
The Yankees trail the Bosox by just 3.5 games. New York just won three of four games between the historic rivals at Yankee Stadium over this past weekend.
Whoever makes up the 2017 MLB schedule needs to be kept away from that responsibility in future seasons. With 26 games left to be played, nearly a full month, that series was the final one between the two rivals.
Meanwhile over in the NL, the Brew Crew are showing that they are for real. In the last two weeks, Milwaukee took two of three from both the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers.
This past weekend, the Brewers excited their home fans at Miller Park by taking three of four from the Nationals.
Down by four to the Cubbies in the loss column, the Brewers will get a chance that the Yankees will not. They will face the team they are trying to run down a full seven times in the final weeks.
The first meeting takes place next weekend when Milwaukee visits Wrigley Field for a key three-game set. Two weekends later, the Cubs will travel to Milwaukee for a four-game series. The Cubs have taken seven of the 12 games between the two teams thus far this season.
Winning their respective divisions will not, of course, be the only road to the playoffs for either the Yanks or Brewers. New York leads the AL Wildcard race, with a half-dozen teams giving chase. The Brewers are one game behind Colorado in the battle for the final NL Wildcard race.
As the final weeks of this 2017 regular season unwind in Major League Baseball, the Yankees and Brewers are sure to be two of the most fascinating stories to follow.