Photo courtesy of Minor League Ball
By: Ross Sutton
The Brewers are quietly having an excellent year. This could be due to the lack of great teams in the National League and therefore teams are not paying attention to the Brewers, but they should be. The Brew Crew is currently 35-20, have won eight out of their last ten, including four in a row. This has given the Brewers a 4.5 game lead over the Cubs in the ultra competitive NL Central.
One of the major reasons why the Brewers have been so successful this season is the moves they made over the offseason have worked out well. Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain currently have the two highest batting averages on the team so they are certainly pulling their weight. Not only are these two players hitting well, but they are also playing very solid offense in the outfield. This offense has been the backbone of the team as it is extremely dangerous and just about every guy in the lineup can hit the long ball on a regular basis.
If the best part of the Brewers’ team is the offense, then the second best part of the team has to be the bullpen. This is quite an impressive feat as the Brew Crew have had their closer, Corey Knebel, on the DL for a large portion of the season. The biggest reason for the success in the bullpen has been Josh Hader, who has been a revelation for Milwaukee. Hader currently has six saves on the year, a 1.15 ERA, and leads the team with 62 punchouts. Hader has also been able to go multiple innings for the Brewers, and been just as dominant during those outings.
My biggest concern with this Brewers team is the starting rotation. They currently do not have anyone in their rotation with an ERA below a 3.69. I believe that in order for the Brewers to be a legitimate threat to the Cubs and rest of the NL Central, they need to acquire a starting pitcher. Luckily for the Brew Crew, there will likely be a few good options on the trade market around the deadline. Some potential trade targets could include Cole Hamels, J.A Happ, or maybe Dylan Bundy. Of those three, the one I believe is the most likely to be dealt is Hamels, as the Rangers will certainly be looking to sell at the deadline. It is unclear if the Blue Jays will be sellers right now, and even though the Orioles are expected to trade Machado at some point this year, it is unknown if they will try to trade pitching such as Bundy. That being said, I believe that Happ would be the best fit for the Brewers. Happ makes the most sense to me because the Brewers probably would not have to give up much for Happ, but he could certainly solidify this rotation. Overall, I think the Brewers COULD BE for real, but right now, I would have to say that they are not, as their rotation is simply not good enough right now.
Stats courtesy of mlb.com
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