At 54-64, the playoffs are relegated to a distant memory for the 2012 Milwaukee Brewers, whose 2011 predecessors nearly made it to the World Series. But there are small mercies in this miserable season. They can still finish with a better record than the rival Chicago Cubs (46-72), who are enduring an even worse year.
By my calculations, the magic number for this secondary goal is 47. Any combination of Brewer wins and Cub losses adding up 47 guarantees Milwaukee’s bragging rights entering next season.
As of this writing, there are 44 games left to play. Of course, the Brewers are losing to Philadelphia, and the Cubs are beating Cincinnati right now. Both margins appear decisive, so call the magic number 47 with 43 games left to play, barring a heroic comeback in either game. The playoffs may be out of the picture, but this will still be a fun race to watch.