Everyone loves the underdog. Well, at least they should.
The Yankees are perennial World Series contenders, made so by their limitless budget. The Phillies have followed suit in recent years, purchasing an all-time great rotation to go with its powerhouse lineup. Those teams are supremely too easy to root for.
Meanwhile, the Brewers are a jovial crew that seems to have a lot of fun playing baseball, doing so with a passion and fervor that is hard not to appreciate. They have the second-lowest payroll of the remaining eight teams, 17th overall in MLB. And oddsmakers during the preseason predicted that Milwaukee were 65-to-1 shots to win the World Series.
It probably seemed like longer odds in May, when the Brewers looked up at four teams ahead of them in the National League Central. Even on May 22, the Brewers were in third place, five games back of Cincinnati and three and a half back of St. Louis. Milwaukee overcame the absence of right-hander Zack Greinke for the first month of the season, and injuries to second baseman Rickie Weeks and center fielder Carlos Gomez for parts of the season.
But the Brewers surged past everyone in the NL Central, bridging July and August with a 25-4 record, vaulting into first place and never relinquishing their lead. To suggest that their division crown was unexpected is not unwarranted. But they have believed in themselves all along, and their ambition doesn’t stop with the NL Central title.
Still, of the remaining eight teams in the playoffs, Milwaukee has the second-fewest number of postseason appearances in their team history—the Tampa Bay Rays have three postseasons, but in 30 fewer seasons of existence. The Brewers have not won a World Series, and in fact last appeared in the Fall Classic in 1982, when they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games. So in essence, they are the most starving franchise of the remaining eight.
For fans, rooting for the Brewers is like sipping for an ice cold beer—thirst-quenching and fun. They currently hold a 2-0 lead in their NLDS against Arizona. Cheers to the Brewers.