StaTuesday: Predictions around the web for Brewers in 2020

Ah, spring training.

A time for teams to gather together and prepare for the upcoming season, with optimism for 2020 abounding and visions of playoffs dancing in their minds.

Well, maybe not every team (we see you Pittsburgh), but certainly Milwaukee.

More Brewers coverage

There have been a lot of changes for the Brewers since last season. Gone are the likes of Chase Anderson, Yasmani Grandal, Trent Grisham and Mike Moustakas, among others.

But there’s new blood, such as Brett Anderson, Avisail Garcia, Eric Lauer, Josh Lindblom and more. Not to mention (perhaps most importantly) a healthy Christian Yelich.

The Brewers have made the playoffs in back-to-back years. Can they make it three straight with this new, uh, Crew?

The early predictions are, well, not so promising as to Milwaukee’s season outlook. The good news, however, is that everyone seems to think the NL Central will be a tight race (with the exception of one team; sorry, Pittsburgh) with one running away with it.

With all that being said, let’s take a look at some of the early prognostications:

Baseball Prospectus notes that its PECOTA standings identifies “an estimated range of games a team might win and tells you the average of that fairly wide range.” That being said, the system presents Milwaukee with a record of 79.4-82.6 and give the Brewers a 9.7% chance to win the division and a 20.3% to make the playoffs (with a 14.6% adjusted playoff percentage).

That simulated win-loss record puts Milwaukee fourth in the NL Central, behind Cincinnati (86.1-75.9), Chicago (84.5-77.5) and St. Louis (80.3-81.7). Pittsburgh (70.3-91.7) is fifth and the only team in the division given a negligible change to make the postseason. Sorry, Pittsburgh.

By the way, BP has only one National League team with 90+ wins – Los Angeles at 102.5-59.5 (the next-highest team? The New York Mets (!!) at 87.8-74.2). If that holds true, it will make for an interesting wild-card race.

The news for Milwaukee isn’t any better over at Fangraphs. While that site does have the Brewers finishing third in the division it’s with a winning percentage of .498 (which roughly equates to an 80-82 season). Fangraphs predicts the Brewers will score 4.83 runs per game, which would be sixth in the NL, but allowing 4.85 per game, fifth worst in the league.

Fangraphs has the Cubs (.519) winning the division and Cincinnati (.500) second. Behind Milwaukee are St. Louis (.491) and Pittsburgh (.448).

Over at USA Today, the paper’s six-person panel also has Milwaukee finishing third in the NL Central, although with a winning record — 84-78 – just one game behind Cincinnati (85-77) and three in back of St. Louis (88-74). The site has Chicago (82-80) nipping on the Brewers’ heels with the Pirates (60-102) way behind. Sorry, Pittsburgh.

USA Today certainly has a tight race for the wild cards. Washington (88-74) would claim the first one (with the Braves as the NL East winner at 92-70) but four teams are predicted to win 85 games (Arizona, Cincinnati, New York and Philadelphia), Milwaukee with 84, San Diego 83 and Chicago 82.

Speaking of the wild card … Clay Davenport, the founder of Baseball Prospectus, has Milwaukee in second place in the division at 85-77. He also has Washington (88-74, behind 93-69 New York in the NL East) as the top wild card. The Brewers are tied with the Braves and Padres with 85 wins in Davenport’s predictions.

Davenport has the Reds (86-67) winning the NL Central, followed by the Brewers, Cubs (83-79), Cardinals (79-83) and Pirates (72-90). In case you’re wondering how Davenport has done in the past with his predictions, he had the Brewers at 80-82 in 2019 and 87-75 in 2018.

For what it’s worth, Odds Shark presents the Brewers’ 2020 over/under win total at 83.5.

Team wins aren’t the only predictions out there. Some site even give it a shot at player statistical outcomes. Here’s some from baseball-reference.com, Clay Davenport and Fangraphs’ Steamer for some notable Brewers:

Ryan Braun

BR: .261/.322/.472, 21 HR, 66 R, 68 RBI, 10 SB

Davenport: .268/.329/.469, 19 HR, 65 R, 74 RBI, 8 SB

Fangraphs: .268/.329/.488, 23 HR, 64 R, 73 RBI, 8 SB

 

Lorenzo Cain

BR: .276/.348/.403, 12 HR, 75 R, 45 RBI, 19 SB

Davenport: .261/.331/.380, 11 HR, 80 R, 46 RBI, 12 SB

Fangraphs: .277/.349/.415, 15 HR, 83 R, 64 RBI, 19 SB

 

Avisail Garcia

BR: .277/.329/.468, 20 HR, 63 R, 68 RBI, 6 SB

Davenport: .270/.330/.441, 15 HR, 51 R, 56 RBI , 6 SB

Fangraphs: .269/.324/.462, 19 HR, 57 R, 66 RBI, 6 SB

 

Josh Hader

BR: 16 SV, 3.30 ERA, 1.014 WHIP, 13.4 K/9

Davenport: 34 SV, 3.61 ERA, 1.12 WHIP

Fangraphs: 28 SV, 2.94 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 14.63 K/9

 

Keston Hiura

BR: .289/.357/.536, 19 HR, 54 R, 52 RBI, 7 SB

Davenport: .268/.333/.469, 23 HR, 73 R, 78 RBI, 10 SB

Fangraphs: .271/.330/.495, 29 HR, 78 R, 91 RBI, 12 SB

 

Eric Lauer

BR: 8-9, 4.41 ERA, 1.386 WHIP, 8.8 K/9

Davenport: 7-8, 4.84 ERA, 1.50 WHIP

Fangraphs: 9-10, 4.77 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 8.24 K/9

 

Josh Lindblom

BR: n/a

Davenport: 13-11, 4.09 ERA, 1.31 WHIP

Fangraphs: 10-11, 4.61 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 8.79 K/9

 

Omar Narvaez

BR: .274/.356/.442, 17 HR, 55 R, 49 RBI

Davenport: .272/.356/.422, 15 HR, 49 R, 50 RBI

Fangraphs: .260/.343/.414, 11 HR, 38 R, 42 RBI

 

Justin Smoak

BR: .236/.341/.454, 24 HR, 60 R, 66 RBI

Davenport: .236/.344/.437, 22 HR, 62 R, 70 RBI

Fangraphs: .239/.349/.470, 22 HR, 57 R, 62 RBI

 

Luis Urias

BR: .245/.333/.400, 10 HR, 40 R, 37 RBI, 2 SB

Davenport: .249/.341/.401, 11 HR, 50 R, 45 RBI, 4 SB

Fangraphs: .251/.332/.403, 12 HR, 49 R, 52 RBI, 4 SB

 

Brandon Woodruff

BR: 9-4, 4.07 ERA, 1.226 WHIP, 9.9 K/9

Davenport: 12-10, 3.92 ERA, 1.33 WHIP

Fangraphs: 11-10, 4.07 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 9.87 K/9

 

Christian Yelich

BR: .306/.392/.570, 31 HR, 91 R, 84 RBI, 18 SB

Davenport: .307/.402/.566, 34 HR, 109 R, 90 RBI, 23 SB

Fangraphs: .304/.400/.568, 36 HR, 112 R, 100 RBI, 22 SB