Benchmark Dates and Major League Baseball: Next up, Flag Day
Those who know me understand that I am a man who likes to simplify things. My approach to breaking down the major league baseball season is no different. In my mind, there are three benchmarks in the first half of the baseball season: Mother's Day, Flag Day, and the all-star break. The significance of each day is slightly different...let me explain.
Mother's Day: By Mother's Day, most teams will have played each team in their division. After Mother's Day, I think it's OK to take a first hard look at the standings to see how teams are trending. Is it still early in the season? Yes. But for certain teams, early to mid-May is already a time to panic. Mother's Day is the perfect "check-in" time.
Flag Day, June 14th: I have always been keen to Mother's Day and the all-star break, but radio brother Jeff Falconio gets the credit for turning me on to Flag Day. Not only is Flag Day is an under-the-radar holiday, but it's also an appropriate time to take a deeper look at the standings and determine who might be buyers and sellers come the trade deadline. Especially vulnerable are the teams facing a doulbe digit climb to the top of their division. It's fair to say that the season is over for the Astros, Cubs, and Minnesota Twins. In my mind, for the Brewers to remain a serious playoff contender, it is critical they remain above .500 by Flag Day.
All-Star Break: This is perhaps the most obvious benchmark, and is a critical time for teams in the hunt. This season, there are only 70 games for the Brewers following the all-star break. The thing you're looking for here is how a team is performing compared to .500. Let's say the Brewers were 46-46 at the all-star break. They would need to go 44-26 to reach 90 wins. There is no reason to think that a .500 team could summon the magic needed to be 18 games above .500 after the break.
The Brewers have done a great job boosting their record comfortably above the .500 mark in a short amount of time. What's critical is that they continue to win series at home, while holding serve on the road. Damaging would be an 8-2 homestand followed be a 2-8 road stretch.
The Brewers should find themselves in a "buying" position near the all-star break. There may not be a heck of a lot to sell right now, but being in position is step one.