Earlier this week, Sports Business Journal reported that the Milwaukee Brewers are among the top five Major League Baseball teams this season in terms of local television ratings with a 6.90. Of all the television households in the Milwaukee area, nearly 7% have tuned in to a portion of a Brewers game so far this season. That number is up 32% from 2010. Only St. Louis, Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Boston have more interested fans, as measured by TV ratings.
The reasons should be obvious. The Brewers finished the first half of the season tied for first with St. Louis in the National League's Central division with a 49-43 record. Three players - Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks - were elected as starters for the All-Star game (Braun sat out with a nagging calf injury), which is a rare feat for a small-market team. And they're tearing the cover off the ball with an NL-leading 103 home runs and .418 slugging percentage (a function of total bases divided by at-bats).
The Brewers woke up on May 20 in third place at 21-23 and won their next six, helping them to a 17-12 record in May. Since then, they've played .500 ball but remained around the top of the standings thanks mainly to the NL Central's status as baseball's weakest division.
Now comes an 11-game road trip with stops in Colorado (43-48), Arizona (49-43) and San Francisco (52-40), a frightening prospect for a team with a 16-29 record away from Miller Park this year. Winning half of those road games would be nice; even better if they can manage to beat up on the struggling Cubs and Astros after they return. That would make a three-game series against St. Louis on Aug. 1-3 must-see TV.