National League Central Previews: Brewers

Today’s Focus: Milwaukee Brewers

2010 Record 77-85, 3rd Place NL Central

The Brew Crew are looking to follow fellow cheese heads, the Green Bay Packers, into a world championship this season.  The Brewers made major moves in the off season to strengthen what was already a good team.  The biggest move was the trade with the Royals to bring in former CY Young Award winner Zack Greinke.  Greinke had a down season last year but you have to like his chances playing in the National League, on team that’s actually capable of winning games.  The addition to of Shaun Marcum to a rotation that already includes Yovani Gallardo makes much improvement to last season’s weak pitching staff.  The Brewers lost all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman, but new closer Jon Axford played well in the role last year when Hoffman floundered.

The Brewers have an excellent collection of bats that are more than capable of leading this team into the playoffs.  Ryan Braun, Corey Hart, Rickie Weeks, and Casey McGehee all had excellent seasons last year, but one has to wonder if Weeks can stay healthy for another full season.  Prince Fielder saw an across the board decline in his stats last year but the 26 year old should be in line for a rebound, especially with free agency on the horizon.

Notable Losses:  Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, Carlos Villanueva, Trevor Hoffman, Chris Capuano, Dave Bush
Notable Pickups: Zack Greinke, Yuniesky Betancourt, Shaun Marcum, Wil Nieves, Takashi Saito, Mark Kotsay

The Brewers made some amazing trades this off season to improve their pitching staff while keeping their strong offense intact.  They are probably the favorite to win the NL Central this season but they’re going to have some tough competition from the Reds.  It should be an exciting pennant race to watch.

Prediction: 92-70, 1st Place NL Central

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