The Milwaukee Brewers are not the same team from last year. They are all healthy and they are reloaded for a strong 2014.
Granted, they are absolutely littered with what can be only described as a massively bloated payroll beset with average, to below average, senior citizens. Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks, Aramis Ramirez, Kyle Lohse, Yovani Gallardo, and Matt Garza’s combined salaries this year are over $70m. That’s close to the equivalent of the Pittsburgh Pirate’s entire payroll.
Despite those god-awful contracts, the Brewers are going to be pushing for the lead in the NL Central all the way up through the All-star break.
Reason being is they boast some of the most promising young talent in the league and have arguably the most dangerous offense in the game. Look at the BA/Slug%/OPS stats for the Brewers so far and you can see why they’ve swept the last two away series at Philly and Boston.
Carlos Gomez is one of the brightest up and coming center fielders in the game. He is on a torrid pace and will inevitably be in the conversation for NL MVP barring injury. He’s hitting .390/.732/1.164
Jean Segura. One of the most promising young shortstops in the game. .300/.400/.764
Jonathan Lucroy may very well be the best offensive catcher in the National League and he’s sporting a drastically improved defense. .371/.629/1.064
Top minor league prospect Khris Davis got the nod to start in right this year and he’s taking advantage of it .333/.472/.806
Add in Ryan Braun’s resurgence (.281/.625/.939), a quick start by Aramis Ramirez (.385/.436/.821), and you literally have the hottest hitting team in baseball. They’re averaging 7 runs a game over this 6 game winning streak while sporting a team ERA of only 3.oo.
And they’re not putting these numbers up against the Astros. They’ve played two of the highest payrolls in baseball during this stretch that have lineups ripe with heavy hitting veterans. (Philadelphia and Boston)
It didn’t matter.
The pitching coming into the season was expected to be ‘solid’, but up to this point they have far surpassed expectations. So far the starting five have put up 6 quality starts in 9 outings and the other 3 starts that weren’t considered ‘quality starts’ were not far off.
Bottom line, the team is firing on all cylinders.
For those people who say that just because the Pirates did well at Milwaukee last season that we will automatically stroll into Miller park this year and repeat the performance. You better wake up.
If we can get 1 win out of this series, it will be a victory. Not only that, but it will take everything we have, including some luck, to not be the 3rd straight team to fall victim to the Brewer buzz saw and get swept out of Milwaukee.
The only reason I picked the Brewers to finish .500 this year is the age factor and the lack of superstar talent and depth in the rotation and bullpen.
Because of that, I saw the Brewers actually leading the NL Central going into the All-star break only to slow down in the second half and eventually come up short down the stretch.
As of right now though, they are one of the most dangerous teams in baseball. And that’s not going to change any time soon.
Make no mistake; this could be a very tough 3 game stretch for the Pirates.
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