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Six-Pack of Bold Brewers Predictions (2011)

by Tim Muma
3/29/11 (11:30pm)

1) Shaun Marcum = Staff Ace
  • Overall 2010 numbers while pitching in AL East: 13-8, 1.15 WHIP, 3.64 ERA and Wins Above Replacement (WAR) of 3.8 - All of these were better than Zack Greinke and Yovani Gallardo in 2010.
  • Numbers against teams other than the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays: 12-2, 2.74 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP.
  • Move to NL Central from AL East will add effectiveness to his performances.
2) Six Brewers Drill 20+ Home Runs
  • Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder should be absolute locks.
  • Rickie Weeks and Casey McGehee are solid bets, though each reached the 20 HR mark for the first time last season.
  • Some are concerned about Corey Hart's injury, but if the Brewers are smart and don't rush him back, Hart will still be on target for 20+.
  • The wild card becomes Yuniesky Betancourt. He hit a career-high 16 long balls in Kansas City last season. The move to the NL could help and playing half of his games will be in Miller Park - a neutral site overall, but prone to a high frequency of dingers.
3) Greinke, Gallardo and Marcum Combine for 50 Wins
  • The talented trio will push each other to be better, looking to beat out their teammates' start each time out. Combined with a high-powered offense and solid bullpen help, the group will hit the magical number 50.
  • Each hurler can throw deep into games, controlling the opponent and saving the bullpen.
  • No pitcher will reach 20 victories, but I'm envisioning 19, 16 and 15 wins.
  • While wins are a poor indicator of a pitcher's performance, having 3 starters combine for over half of a team's wins is a great sign of team success.
4) Four Players Steal 20+ bases; Four Players Drive in 100+ Runs
  • A switch from a manager afraid to run is replaced by Ron Roenicke, a leader with a penchant for creating runs on the bases.
  • Despite a .298 OBP, Carlos Gomez swiped 18 bags last season in 318 plate appearances.
  • Braun stole 14 bases and Weeks took 11 - again, under a manager with a constant red light.
  • Hart had 23 steals in '07 and '08, but only 18 combined the last two years - Roenicke may be the one to get Hart going again.
  • The taking of extra bases here and there will create many more RBI chances.
  • Braun, Hart and McGehee all hit the century mark in 2010 while Fielder came up short.
  • With this offense and Fielder in a walk year, he will be among the league leaders in RBI.
5) Ryan Braun's MVP Season
  • He is 27 years old - historically the prime age for a hitter's peak output.
  • He is excited and extremely confident in the team, adding extra swagger/cockiness to his game - this is when Braun is at his best.
  • Scouts, coaches, players and fans all say he was locked in and spraying bullets in spring.
  • The improved pitching staff will take some pressure off of Braun and the offense.
  • Many pitchers will worry about Fielder on deck, giving Braun better opportunities.
  • What does an MVP stat line look like? .321/.403/.604/1.007 - 42 HR, 119 RBI, 109 runs and 23 stolen bases.
6) Brewers Pitching Staff Will Be Top Five in MLB in ERA, WHIP and K/9
  • A career year from Gallardo, plus Marcum and Greinke's move to to the NL Central will boost the numbers.
  • More pitchers will be missing bats in 2011, so the defense's role will be minimized.
  • Mixing old and young in the pen will prove to be effective.
  • Milwaukee ranked 5th in baseball in K/9 last season.


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