The National League Central may not be won in 162 games, so where would the Brewers and Cubs play a Game 163?
The Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs are both going to the postseason, but with matching 94-67 records entering Sunday’s final day of the regular season the NL Central title has not been settled.
The Brewers finish their 162-games slate against the Detroit Tigers Sunday afternoon, while the Cubs will take on the St. Louis Cardinals in a practically parallel timeframe (2:10 p.m CT and 2:20 p.m CT first pitches respectively). That difference in quality of opponent automatically gives Milwaukee something of an advantage. But if there is still a tie atop the NL Central come the conclusion of action Sunday night, where would a Brewers-Cubs Game 163 take place?
By virtue of winning 11 of the 19 games between the two teams during the regular season, the Cubs would welcome the Brewers to the “friendly confines” of Wrigley Field for an extra game to determine the division winner. That’s obviously a unique home field advantage for the Cubs, and on what’s sure to be a crisp Oct. 1 night in Chicago there’s no hope for protection from the retractable roof at Miller Park if the Brewers were the home team.
Who the starting pitchers would be for a Brewers-Cubs Game 163 is not clear. But based on who would be on five days rest Monday night, Jose Quintana would start for Chicago and Jhoulys Chacin would get the nod for Milwaukee. Chacin got the win when the Brewers clinched a playoff spot last Wednesday night, allowing one run over five innings against the Cardinals, so manager Craig Counsell may give him the opportunity in a do-or-die game.
Regardless of who throws the first pitches for their team in a potential Game 163, Counsell and Cubs manager Joe Maddon will have have a quick hook and virtually all options available to them out of the bullpen. Assuming there is a need to play an extra game, of course.