LOS ANGELES - The Milwaukee Brewers are making their third straight playoff appearance, something they’d never accomplished before since the franchise launched as the Seattle Pilots in 1969.
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - SEPTEMBER 09: Ryan Braun #8 of the Milwaukee Brewers celebrates scoring a run in the sixth inning with Christian Yelich #22 while playing the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on September 09, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gr
This series is a rematch of the 2018 NLCS won by the Dodgers in seven games, the only other time these clubs have met in the postseason. The first pitch is set for 9:08 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, Sept. 30.
Milwaukee lost to the eventual World Series champion Washington Nationals in a wild-card game last year.
The Brewers and Houston Astros, who also went 29-31, are the first playoff teams to finish a regular season below .500 since the 1981 Kansas City Royals went 50-53 but won the AL West’s second-half title during the split-season format that year. If the 1981 strike season isn’t taken into account, the team with the lowest winning percentage to qualify for the playoffs before this year was the 2005 San Diego Padres at 82-80.
The Brewers haven’t had a winning record all season. They were at .500 on eight occasions but never got above the mark.
Milwaukee lost its top starter when Corbin Burnes (4-1, 2.11 ERA) strained his left oblique during the final week of the regular season and went on the injured list. Anderson's status is uncertain after he exited early from Sunday's start in the regular-season finale with a blister on his left index finger. Other potential starters are Josh Lindblom (2-4, 5.16 ERA) and Adrian Houser (1-6, 5.30).
The Brewers scored just 4.1 runs per game and ranked 26th in the majors in batting average (.223). They struck out 582 times for MLB’s second-highest total, behind only the AL East champion Rays.
Yelich, the 2018 NL MVP and NL batting champion in 2018 and 2019, slumped badly this year but walked 46 times to rank second in the NL.