Happy Opening Day: Brewers and MLB Predictions!
At the bar on Saturday night, my podcast partner Mitch pulled me aside and said “I’m worried how optimistic people are about this Brewers season.” It’s a fair concern, but every year, hope springs eternal for every team in Major League Baseball. They wonder if a few pieces fit right, they could end up playing October baseball. That’s one of the best parts of Opening Day. Brewers are going to have a challenge this season, but there are some opportunities for things to be awesome.
Brewers will win 79 games and be frisky
I’m buying into the Opening Day kool-aid. I know the pitching rotation is a problem, but I believe they can power through some of their shortcomings. Milwaukee might creep around the Wild Card race at different points of the season. There’s some ripe opportunities for Milwaukee given some of the teams in National League who are way deeper in the rebuild. Further, the NL Central isn’t as imposing as it was the last couple years. St. Louis and Pittsburgh are both 80-83 wins compared to playoff teams.
Ryan Braun will not be traded
I don’t see it happening unless the team knows they’re ready to replace all three outfielders. Brewers are loaded with outfield prospects, therefore, people could piece together that it’s moving time for Braun. One thing to keep in mind about Braun is there was ZERO trade talk about him this offseason. It’s crazy that it feels more inevitable that Pittsburgh will trade Andrew McCutchen more than Braun.
Lewis Brinson and Josh Hader will make an impact this season
Watch for Brewers to provide a warning shot to the rest of the league with Lewis Brinson and Josh Hader both playing in the major leagues at some point this season. Hader will be up probably sooner given how bad this rotation looks plus the metrics say he can have the best season of the entire rotation. Brinson might be a bit more difficult. Milwaukee’s dream scenario is to have Domingo Santana or Keon Broxton to have a huge start to the season then Brewers general manager David Sterns can flip the players to pave way from Brinson.
Best Hitter Not Named Braun – Johnathan Villar
It’s too obvious, right? Villar is a slowly developing into a star for Milwaukee. He can steal bases, hit home runs and is an ideal leadoff hitter for this team. Villar will frustrate the hell out of you, but the fact is he can rake. I don’t expect a sophomore slump from him. Every time it looked like opposing pitchers figured him out, he found a way to still be effective.
Best Pitcher – Wily Peralta
LET’s GET IT ON WITH THE HOT TAKES. Seriously, this rotation is so bad. I could say Hader and be done with it yet let’s get nuts. Junior Guerra has regression all over his face. Zach Davies is one of my favorites to watch and could end up being the true number one. That said, I wouldn’t be shocked if it’s Peralta. He’s been pounding the strike zone in Spring and looks more like the Wily of old. Remember, this guy was awesome in 2015.
AL Winners: Boston, Cleveland, Houston
AL Wild Card: Seattle, New York Yankees
NL Winners: New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers
NL Wild Card: Washington, San Francisco
World Series: Boston Red Sox beats Los Angeles Dodgers
Happy Opening Day, kids.