Game 163: Cubs & Brewers battle for the NL Central title Monday


It's just the third time the Cubs have played an extra game at the end of the season to determine a championship or playoff berth.

Bryce Harper didn't quite get there, but the slugger is today playing in his 159th game of the season, a new career high.

The Rockies handled business Sunday with a 12-0 win against the Nationals; however, the Dodgers also handled theirs with a monstrous 15-0 win over the Giants.

Two divisional tiebreaker games will be played Monday after the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies all won Sunday, leaving the National League Central and West both deadlocked after 162 games.

Both pitchers are sure to have their hands full Monday night when high-octane offenses go swinging for the fences with the division on the line.

All four teams are already assured playoff spots, either as a division champ or wild card. "We'd rather not win the wild card and win the division", Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp said.

Los Angeles Dodgers Brian Dozier right celebrates with Rich Hill after he hit a two-run home run against the San Francisco Giants in the third inning of a baseball game in San Francisco Sunday Sept. 30 2018

The Cubs won the season series from Milwaukee, 11-8, but the Brewers won seven of the final ten in the series, including four of their final six which allowed them to catch up to the Cubs despite being five games back on Labor Day.

Colorado flies to Los Angeles as one of the hottest teams in baseball, winners of nine of their last ten.

Instead, the Brewers wrapped up a three-game sweep of the Tigers with a 11-0 shutout win to complete their second-half comeback and perch atop the standings on the last day of the regular season. League championship series open October 12 in the National League and October 13 in the American League. The Brewers have yet to announce who will get the start for them, but it would not be shocking if they turned it into a bullpen game.

Arenado homered twice and Charlie Blackmon hit for the cycle as the Rockies roughed up Washington 12-0.

Colorado was missing shortstop Trevor Story for most of the Dodgers series after he hurt his elbow in the opener.

Walker Buehler (7-5, 2.76 ERA) gets the start for the Dodgers and getting scratched from Sunday's outing. "Any time we play the Cubs, it's a hostile environment, especially in Wrigley Field".

US Navy sails past contested islands in South China Sea
The sail-by on Sunday also comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing over trade and diplomatic issues. But the US has continued to challenge China's policing of those waters.