It will take a 163rd game to decide the National League Central champion with the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs meeting Monday afternoon at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
The Brewers won their 95th game of the season by blanking Detroit 11-0, sweeping the Tigers in their three-game series at Miller Park. The Cubs meanwhile, knocked off the St. Louis Cardinals 10-5 in Chicago to secure their 95th win, forcing the one-game playoff at Wrigley Field.
The winner of Monday’s game will move to the National League Division series and host game one on Thursday. The loser secures the top wildcard in the National League and will be forced to play in the wildcard game on Tuesday.
The extra game also gives Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich an opportunity to lock up the first triple crown in the National League in 81 years, dating back to 1937. The Triple Crown consists of the league leader in batting average, home runs and runs batted in.
Yelich already has the NL batting title wrapped up, entering play with a .323 average. That’s 13-points higher than Scooter Gennett, who finished his season at .310.
Nolan Arenado, who has one more home run (37) then Yelich (36) and Arenado is also in action against the Dodgers today with the National League West Crown up for grabs.
Javy Baez of the Cubs holds the National League rbi lead with 111, two more than Yelich and Arenado. Baez can also increase his total today.
The Brewers finished the month of September with a 19-7 record. They were five games back entering Labor Day before starting their comeback.
The Cubs won the season series with the Brewers 11-8, which is why this game is being played in Chicago. But the Cubs jumped out to an 8-1 lead, before the Brewers bounced back to win seven of the remaining 10 games.
Lefty Jose Quintana will pitch for the Cubs today. In six games this season against the Brewers, Quintana is 4-1 with a 2.17 earned run average. He’s 5-2 against the Brewers since being acquired by the Cubs in 2017.
The Brewers will give the ball to start today to Jhoulys Chacin (15-8, 3.56).