Nitkowski: Brewers can pitch their way to World Series, 'without a doubt'

Brewers ace Brandon Woodruff.
Photo credit Quinn Harris / Stringer / Getty Images

Not a single player on the Milwaukee Brewers' 40-man roster was alive when the franchise last appeared in the World Series, back in 1982. They happened to represent the American League during that season, too.

But MLB Network Radio host CJ Nitkowski believes that the Brewers' lengthy championship drought might come to an end this October, since they deploy one of the most formidable pitching rotations in baseball.

"The Brewers have the pitching to get it done. They have three legitimate Cy Young award contenders right now," Nitkowski told the Reiter Than You show on Wednesday. "That's problematic in a series. You're talking about trying to get to your No. 2 or No. 3, and depth of rotation becomes a problem, more often than not, especially for a small-market team.

"They have the arms to get it done. I think if they play close games, they can be a team that we may see playing in the World Series when it's over. And they've got the bullpen arms to go with it. They can pitch their way there, without a doubt... I'd be most worried about the Brewers if I was going up against them, because of their pitching."

The Brewers (77-49), which own the third-best record in the National League and a comfortable 8.5-game lead in the NL Central standings, have blazed a new path to pitching dominance. Their starting rotation -- headlined by aces Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes -- currently ranks top-three in MLB in ERA (3.14), WHIP (1.10), strikeouts (702), and batting average against (.212).

As for the Brewers' bullpen -- featuring back-end relievers Josh Hader and Devin Williams -- they rank top-10 in the league in saves (36), strikeouts (551), ERA (3.71), and batting average against (.224).

According to FiveThirtyEight, Milwaukee is currently projected to finish the regular season with a franchise record 97 wins. They now have a 99-percent chance to reach the postseason, a 96-percent chance to win the NL Central, and a 9-percent chance to win their first World Series title.

The entire MLB conversation between Nitkowski and Reiter can be accessed in the audio player above.

You can follow the Reiter Than You show on Twitter @sportsreiter and @CBSSportsRadio, and Tom Hanslin @TomHanslin.