We continue our coverage of the NL Central as we take a look at the Brew Crew. Milwaukee hasn’t done much since trading for, and then signing, Christian Yelich. Despite that, they’re poised to be one of the better teams in the division and maybe in the league.
Key Additions: Kolten Wong
Key Subtractions: Ryan Braun (Potentially)
Kolten Wong was the big get this year for the Brewers. It’ll be odd to see the Gold Glover move from St. Louis to Milwaukee, but it seems like a decent deal. Wong has only been above average offensively twice in his career. He offsets his lack of offense by swiping a bag and elite defense. This move forces Keston Hiura to move to the hot corner, which is probably a good thing. I don’t know how much better Keston will be at third, but he can’t be any worse than what he was at second. Fans of the Brewers are probably upset that the team didn’t do all that much to their roster, but I think it shows how confident the team is in what they have.
The pitching staff is a major reason for optimism. Brandon Woodruff, Devin Williams, Josh Hader, and Corbin Burnes make this team incredibly dangerous in a short series. If this team can make it to the playoffs, that group may help carry them deep into October. Add in decent production from Freddy Peralta, Adrian Houser, and Brent Suter and Milwaukee quietly has one of the better pitching staffs in the league.
The lineup was not a source of good feelings last year but things should go differently this time around. Nearly everyone in the lineup for Milwaukee had a career worst OPS+ in 2020. There is no way that’ll repeat itself this season. I’m not saying everyone should have career years, but there seems to be too much talent on this roster for them to be as poor as last year. Yelich should return to MVP form while guys like Dan Vogelbach, Avisail Garcia, and Keston Hiura ought to provide help. The offense will probably find themselves in the middle of the pack while the pitching is near/in the top 10. That makes for a playoff caliber team.
There isn’t a whole lot to talk about with this team because they didn’t do much of anything over the winter. They’re betting on themselves to bounce back and so am I. The competition got a little stiffer with Arenado’s move to the Cardinals, but the Brewers should still find themselves somewhere at the top of the division, firmly in the playoff race.