- The Milwaukee Brewers have gone from 84.5 projected wins to 86.5
- It’s the third-highest projection in the NL Central behind the Cardinals and Cubs
- Can the Brewers top their total? Or are they doomed by a top-heavy division?
The Brewers caught baseball off guard last year when they soared past the Cubs and Cardinals to win the NL Central. Milwaukee not only took home the division, but the best record in the NL as well. It hasn’t gotten them much respect for 2019 though.
They entered Spring Training pegged at 84.5 wins. Since then, that total has risen by two. It’s still behind five other teams in the NL, however.
Milwaukee Brewers 2019 Projected Win Total
|Milwaukee Brewers 2019 Projected Win Total||Over Odds||Under Odds||2018 Win Total|
*Odds taken 03/07/19
The movement in the Brewers’ totals is fairly straight forward. Putting a 96-win team’s projection at 84.5 is low. Even if the Cardinals went out and added Paul Goldschmidt and the Cubs’ Kris Bryant is healthy again.
It’s a tough division, but 84.5 is almost too easy. Especially considering how all three finished last year, and the fact the Brewers are a World Series contender.
2018 NL Central Standings
|Team||2018 Record||2018 MIL vs OPP||2019 Projected Total|
|St. Louis Cardinals||88-74||11-8||88.5|
Looking at their records, the top three teams all finished with 88 wins.
They could conceivably do it again too. The Reds overhauled their roster in the off-season with a handful of cast-offs from the Dodgers and other teams. They’re a wait and see prospect. In Pittsburgh, the Pirates aren’t awe inspiring.
— 590 The Fan KFNS (@590TheFan) March 7, 2019
Considering the Brewers’ record against those two in 2018, maintaining, or even a slight improvement, is a good sign for the over. Check out our 2019 MLB Win Totals Tracker to see projections for all 30 Major League teams.
What Changed for Brewers on the Field?
There’s one move that could have helped that Brewers win total rise by two as well. On February 19th, they were able to bring back Mike Moustakas on a one-year deal.
Moustakas brought a consistent presence to the lineup in 2018. There’s one change though.
Craig Counsell on how Mike Moustakas is doing at 2B thus far: "He’s done everything well. He’s passed the eye test. Not a lot of action so far, frankly, but he’s going to be fine."
— Tom (@Haudricourt) March 1, 2019
Moustakas is now being asked to play second base. Leaving Travis Shaw at third. According to Moose: so far, so good.
How Will Brewers Fare in 2019?
Milwaukee didn’t have any major free agents leave during the offseason, and they were able to tweak a balanced lineup.
Lorenzo Cain is a solid contact hitter at the top of the lineup who hasn’t hit below .285 since 2013.
Even if he doesn’t duplicate his MVP season, Christian Yelich is an excellent middle-of-the-order bat. Same with Travis Shaw, who’s coming off of back-to-back 30 home run seasons.
One-on-One: Christian Yelich talks about winning NL MVP, expectations for this season. pic.twitter.com/B6YJ1lDIob
— WISN 12 NEWS (@WISN12News) February 22, 2019
Those two, paired with Moustakas, are good insurance when it comes to Jesus Aguilar. Just in case his power doesn’t reach the heights it did in 2018.
For Milwaukee, the OVER seems like a formality. Whether or not they’re playoff bound, will depend on how they do against the Cards and Cubs.