This season has been one of the more surprising years in recent memory. Nobody predicted the Yankees’ struggles, the Giants leading the NL West, the Cardinals hovering around .500, or the Cubs purging like they did during the trade deadline. Given that this is a season of unpredictability, do not be surprised if the Milwaukee Brewers make a run during the postseason. You read that right, I believe the Brewers are this year’s dark horse World Series contender.
Let’s start with their starting pitching, the rotation is anchored by Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, and Freddy Peralta. All three of those pitchers would be at the top of any other team’s pitching rotation. Some are arguing that this starting rotation is the Brewers best in franchise history. While it would be a tough debate, an argument can certainly be made as all three were selected to the All-Star Game. Both Woodruff and Peralta are in the top three in earned run average while Peralta is fifth in strikeouts. Despite being in the shadow of Milwaukee’s “three-headed monsters”, Eric Lauer, Brett Anderson, and Adrian Houser have all made positive contributions this season as well.
Meanwhile, the bullpen has been the best strength of the Brewers all season. Closer Josh Hader has been a consistent dominant force for the Brewers this season. He’s registered 22 saves this season and his current ERA of 1.83 is a career-best. Behind him, Brent Suter, Brad Boxberger, and Devin Williams have been the main relievers out of the bullpen. Each them are having fine seasons. Suter even leads all Brewer pitchers in wins with 11. The Brewers have also been able to get positive contributions from Miguel Sanchez, Jake Cousins, and Hunter Strickland; All of who were brought into the bullpen mid-season. Despite trading key guys like Drew Rasmussen, J.P. Feyereisen, and Trevor Richards, the bullpen hasn’t missed a beat all season.
Overall, pitching has been the main strength of the Brewers. They currently boast the second-lowest ERA in all of baseball, only the Dodgers have given up fewer earned runs. Crew pitching also lead the league in strikeouts.
An Offense on the Rise:
Offensively, this team has been headed in a positive direction. Before May 21st, the Brew Crew’s offense was struggling to score runs. Acting fast, General Manager David Stearns traded for Willy Adames to try to jump-start a struggling offense and lockdown shortstop. So far, this move has looked like the trade of the year. Prior to the trade, the Brewers were 21-22 and only scored 157 runs and only the Pirates and Nationals had less. Part of that was due to Christian Yelich being injured, Luis Urias struggling at shortstop, and Keston Hiura being unproductive offensively.
Adames has been a big reason for the Brewers surge into first place in the division. His energy and clutch hits have more than tripled the amount of runs the Brewers are producing this season. Stearns also added Rowdy Tellez from the Blue Jays and All-Star Eduardo Escobar to the mix as well. Tellez already has five home runs since the trade and Escobar is off to a great start as well. This team even had Omar Narvaez appear in the All-Star Game. Despite Christian Yelich struggling and having injuries at various points in the season, this team is finding ways to win and score lots of runs. Once Yelich gets back to form this team will be feared.
This team is also never out of it either. This team has a knack for coming back and winning ball games no matter the score. If that isn’t a “heart of champion” then what is?
Don’t Sleep on Milwaukee:
With a great pitching staff, an offense on the rise, and a team looking for respect; no team should look past the Brewers. They have the makings of a championship team. Don’t be shocked if the Brewers make a run at the World Series in a season of unpredictability. Milwaukee just had the Bucks win an NBA Championship and I know they are starving for a World Series ring.