With the Cubs and Cardinals off for the day (to flex muscles and lick wounds, respectively), the Brewers had the night to themselves against the Pirates.
They took advantage, with five pitchers combining to shut out the Pirates 3-0. That brought them to within 3.5 games of the Cubs in the NL Central, with a huge, four-game series looming against the Cubs starting on Thursday.
The Rockies were also off, so the Brewers gained a half-game on them, too – the Brewers are now 2.0 games back in the Wild Card race.
To their credit, the Brewers have gotten hot at the right time: their 8-2 record in their last 10 games is the best in the National League.
So, how much can a single win swing the playoff odds when the other relevant teams are off? Quite a lot, relatively speaking. Per FanGraphs, the win took the Brewers’ overall playoff odds from 11.1% all the way up to 14.8% (while dropping the Cubs’ overall odds from 97.7% to 97.1%). The jump in the divisional odds was even bigger (again, relatively speaking), with the Brewers climbing from 2.5% to 3.6%. Which is to say … yeah, FanGraphs still doesn’t see the Brewers as having much of a shot. But had they lost yesterday, you can bet those odds would have sunk to near 1%.