StaTuesday: Brewers predictions for 2019
A year after their wild run to a division title and the NLCS, the Milwaukee Brewers are drawing mixed reviews from the experts.
With opening day just around the corner, baseball writers and experts are posting picks, predictions and projections for the coming season.
Over at ESPN, the network’s baseball minds are predicting a wild race in the NL Central.
Of the 31 experts polled, 12 picked the Chicago Cubs to win the division, 10 picked the Brewers and nine picked the St. Louis Cardinals.
Senior writer David Schoenfield:
“With a healthy Kris Bryant and better production from Willson Contreras, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber, the Cubs will have an elite offense. A healthy Yu Darvish will help stabilize the rotation, and the bullpen is deeper than everyone gives them credit for.”
The Brewers are projected to win the division at 88-74, while the Cubs are projected to finish in last at 79-83.
CBS Sports’ five-person panel of Matt Snyder, Dayn Perry, Mike Axisa, R.J. Anderson and Katherine Acquavella was split on the Cubs and Cardinals to win the division, but all five picked the Brewers to finish third.
Snyder: “In looking at how things shook out, I’m guessing the most complaints would come from Braves and Brewers fans. I can only speak for myself, but it was more a reflection of tough competition than trying to say the teams are much worse. I like the Brewers for mid-to-high 80s in wins and that’ll only be enough to finish third.”
“Lorenzo Cain will be the better NL MVP Award candidate than Christian Yelich. Before Yelich went nuts the last few months of 2018, Cain was neck-and-neck with him. Cain’s defense was huge last year and could be even more so this year.”
This isn’t especially surprising.
Cain was in the NL MVP conversation for much of 2018, ultimately finishing in seventh, while earning one third-place vote, thanks largely to his stellar play in center field.
Back to Baseball Prospectus: Their Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm (PECOTA, more on that here) tool projects some steps back for Milwaukee.
BREWERS — HITTERS
BREWERS — STARTING PITCHERS
|Freddy Peralta||79 2/3||59||10||4.3||11.7||103||1.22||3.79|
|Brandon Woodruff||138 2/3||115||16||3.2||9.3||142||1.19||3.76|
|Corbin Burnes||77 2/3||63||9||3.9||9.4||81||1.24||3.99|
|Zach Davies||119 2/3||112||13||2.8||7.8||104||1.24||3.88|
BREWERS — RELIEF PITCHERS
|Chase Anderson||142 2/3||123||21||3.0||8.4||133||1.20||4.31|
|Alex Claudio||50 2/3||46||4||2.7||7.1||40||1.22||3.66|
|Josh Hader||67 2/3||42||10||3.7||14.1||106||1.03||3.21|
|Jake Petricka||52 1/3||55||7||4.3||7.8||45||1.53||4.84|
|Brent Suter||11 1/3||10||2||2.4||8.2||10||1.19||4.08|
|Alex Wilson||50 2/3||50||6||3.2||6.5||36||1.33||4.64|