The NL Central is a tough division to navigate for the Brewers when the Cubs and Cardinals are two of the best teams in the National League… the Pirates aren’t too shabby either. Milwaukee has to play against some great offenses and their starting rotation is one of the worst in the Majors.
Milwaukee is expected to have another down year. Live odds for online betting has their over/under season win total at 70.5. I have them winning under that amount of games. The bet will come down to the final days of the season to payout.
The Brewers do have some talent on the team. They will cause a headache for opposing catchers. They have a ton of speed and will have the green light to run. Milwaukee could ‘steal’ a few games if they can easily get runners in scoring position.
Here is the 2017 MLB season preview for the Milwaukee Brewers.
2016 Win/Loss Record: 73-89
Key Additions: 1B Eric Thames, C Jett Bandy, RP Neftali Feliz, 3B Travis Shaw, RP Tommy Milone, 1B Jesus Aguilar, RP Joba Chamberlain, SS Ivan DeJesus Jr. & 2B Eric Sogard
Key Losses: 1B Chris Carter, RP Tyler Thornburg, RP Blaine Boyer, C Martin Maldonaldo & 2B Jake Elmore
Interleague Schedule: AL East
Projected Starters: Jett Bandy, Eric Thames, Jonathan Villar, Travis Shaw, Orlando Arcia, Ryan Braun, Keon Broxton & Domingo Santana
Projected Starting Rotation: Jimmy Nelson, Wily Peralta, Matt Garza, Junior Guerra & Taylor Jungmann
Closer: Neftali Feliz
Fantasy Sleeper: 3B/OF Hernan Perez – Brewers aren’t afraid run. Villar and Broxton will be in the top ten in stolen bases this season. Perez stoles 35 bases last year, but I don’t think he will match that total this season. He could have less playing time this year, but if you’re hurting for speed on your team, Perez could be a nice option on your bench. He could end up with far more than 35 stolen bases if an injury in the outfield or corner infield occurs. Keep an on eye on him this year.
Prospect To Keep Your Eye On: OF Lewis Brinson – Milwaukee received a nice haul when they traded Jonathan Lucroy and Jeremy Jeffress to the Rangers late last season. Prospects Brinson and pitcher Luis Ortiz could become impact players for Milwaukee. Brinson has a shot of starting the year on the main roster. He reminds me of former Milwaukee outfielder Khris Davis. That is good and bad, since he is just a streaky, but when he’s hot, he’s on fire…and when he’s cold, he’s absolute zero.
Team Analysis: The reason I have them winning less than 70 games is because of their starting pitching. I look at their rotation and they have five guys who should be an average team’s #4 or #5 starter. They will struggle all year when they are slotted against a team’s front-end starters. It will be a huge problem for Milwaukee.
Also, a lot of their offense last season is either now gone (Chris Carter) or the production of a few players last year will not be repeated this year (Jonathan Villar). They did sign Eric Thames who crushed it in the KBO the last few years. A few former KBO players like Jung Ho Kang have come over here and replicated their success in Korea. Unfortunately there have also been a few players like Byung Ho Park that couldn’t hit Major League pitching.
Milwaukee may need to trade their remaining stars to secure a few young starters. Ryan Braun has a silly contract, but they could squeeze out a young arm in a trade at the deadline this Summer.
2017 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 70.5 (Prediction: UNDER)
2017 Projected Win/Loss Record: 69-93 (5th NL Central)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.