The Milwaukee Brewers regular season begins next Thursday with a road trip out to San Diego to play three games against the Padres, and the team is hot heading into the games that count.

Spring training baseball may not be the biggest deal in the world, and certainly should not be taken as a direct measurement to predict each team’s success in the regular season, but the Brewers have been playing impressively in the Cactus League. In their 25 games so far, Milwaukee has a record of 16-7 along with two ties, good for first in the league which is composed of half of the MLB’s teams.

The only other MLB roster with a record to match the Brewers is the reigning champions, the Astros, who are playing in the Grapefruit League. Milwaukee’s two most competitive NL Central rivals, the Cubs and Cardinals, boast records of 15-10 and 12-11, respectively, while the Reds and Pirates have struggled.

The Crew have been a middle of the pack team in the Cactus League when it comes to runs scored, but have allowed the fewest runs of anybody. Furthermore, they have won eight of their last ten, losing only to the Texans and tieing the Rockies.

Another good sign for Brewers fans is that key outfield signings Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich have looked good so far as they settle in with their new team. Cain is batting a crazy .500 with 15 hits in 30 at bats and Yelich has batted .281 in 32 plate appearances.

If the defense can keep up their pace entering the regular season and offensive contributions stay steady, perhaps 2018 will mark the Brewers’ first year as NL Central champs since 2011. Big things are possible for Milwaukee following their surprising 2017 campaign, and all eyes will be on them as they look to dethrone the back-to-back NL Central champion Chicago Cubs.