With Yelich at full strength, the Brewers will again contend for a playoff spot in 2020. Although the team said goodbye to Yasmani Grandal, Mike Moustakas, Eric Thames, Chase Anderson, and Zach Davies, there is still reason to believe that Milwaukee will make a third consecutive trip to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
2020 Milwaukee Brewers World Series Betting Online Odds at FanDuel: +3500Odds provided by FanDuel (IN, NJ, PA & WV only)
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2020 Milwaukee Brewers Season World Series Odds OverviewMilwaukee has the second-highest odds to win the World Series in the NL Central. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Reds all have lower World Series odds at FanDuel, while the Pirates are completely off the reservation with odds of 500-1 to win it all.
National League CentralThis division is seen as a four-way race. There isn’t much separating the Cubs, Cardinals, Reds, and Brewers per the NL Central betting odds, but Milwaukee is seen as the runt of that group with odds of +350 to win the division. The other three teams all have odds of less than 3-1 to win the NL Central.
On the HillBrandon Woodruff became the ace of the staff in 2019. Woodruff delivered on the promise he showed in limited action in his rookie campaign, finishing with an 11-3 record and a 3.62 ERA in 22 starts. He only threw 121.2 innings due to an oblique injury that kept him out for over two months, so he will be even more valuable if he can stay healthy and register 200 innings in 2020.
There are real concerns outside of Woodruff in the rotation. Eric Lauer and Freddy Peralta have both failed to capitalize on the promise they showed in the minors. Lauer did show improvement after a rough rookie season in 2018, finishing with a 1.396 WHIP last year, but Peralta blew up. He posted a 1.136 WHIP in limited action in 2018, but he finished last season with a 1.459 WHIP after allowing nearly twice as many home runs per nine innings.
Milwaukee is hoping that veteran left-hander Brett Anderson can eat up some innings. Anderson is coming off a very solid year by his standards, but he has only thrown more than 100 innings four times in his 11-year career. His low strikeout rate (4.6 K/9) is very worrisome.
The good news for the Brewers is that this bullpen will be a strength again. Josh Hader has been one of the best relief arms in the game for the last three years, and his ability to be used in long relief is a huge boost. He finished last year with an incredible 0.806 WHIP and a 16.4 K/9 in 75.2 innings of work.
At the PlateYelich is the best hitter in the NL. He likely would have repeated as the NL MVP last season if he stayed healthy throughout the entire year, but he still garnered 10 of the 30 first-place votes. Yelich led the league in batting average (.329), on-base percentage (.429), slugging percentage (.671), and OPS (1.100), and his OPS+ of 179 was also tops in the NL. In addition to his power, he still has the speed to steal 35 bases in a year, making him the presumptive MVP favorite heading into this year. Incredibly, he still has room to improve too at the age of 28.
Another bat needs to emerge to complement Yelich with so much production gone, so the Brewers are counting on Lorenzo Cain to have a bounce-back season. Cain’s numbers dipped drastically in 2019, as the center fielder’s triple slash numbers of .260/.325/.372 were far short of what we had seen the previous five seasons. He dealt with numerous injuries over the course of the season, so a healthy Cain could return to form.
The young Keston Hiura is an incredibly exciting player. Hiura was called up in the middle of the season, and the then 22-year-old delivered in a big way for the Brew Crew. He hit .303 in 84 games, but there is cause for concern with his strikeout rate. As a rookie, Hiura struck out 107 times in 339 plate appearances.
2020 Milwaukee Brewers World Series ProjectionMilwaukee has some upside heading into this season. The Brewers have arguably the best hitter and the best relief pitcher in the game, and Woodruff could become a bonafide ace. The variables are why this team is considered the fourth-best in the NL Central, but the potential makes the Brewers worth a small play.
2020 Milwaukee Brewers World Series Free Pick:
Odds provided by FanDuel (IN, NJ, PA & WV only)