2020 MLB Preview: Milwaukee Brewers

Besides Yelich, Is There Enough Here To Win?

Of the 12 pitchers who started a game in 2019 for the Milwaukee Brewers, only four are still with the team. Brandon Woodruff and Adrian Houser (3.62 and 3.72 earned-run averages respectively) look like they could be solid, effective number two or three-type guys. Freddy Peralta’s ERA was over five, but he’s only 24. Corbin Burnes is 25 and coming off a season in which he appeared In 32 games and struck out 70 while walking only 20. But he also allowed opposing players to hit .330 and had an ERA of 8.82. He has to be tipping his pitches. Josh Lindblom is a terrific story of a journeyman making a return to the big leagues after five-year stint in Korea. Great story but probably not the guy you can really count on for 10 wins to start a season. Woodruff and Houser should give them 30-35 wins. Where are the others going to come from? Eric Lauer? He went 8-10 for San Diego last year.

The best chance may be on the farm. Drew Rasmussen allowed 1.18 batters to reach base per nine innings and only a .216 batting average to those who did. If he comes up he will likely be on a pitch count after two surgeries.

Josh Hader will save whatever gets to him.

Offensively, it’s Christian Yelich, who certainly could have been the MVP last year. And then… an aging Ryan Braun? Second baseman Keston Kiura hit .303 after hitting at all levels of the minors but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of contact after that. Lorenzo Cain deciding not to play leaves a hole in center and at the plate and on the bases.

This doesn’t feel like a playoff team but with the Cardinals’ offensive challenges in the same division maybe it is. My bet is Rasmussen will be the difference if they do. Without him they’ll be lucky to win 81 games.

Coronavirus 60-prediction: 32-28

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