Originally this was going to be a Daybreak Doppler sign off but upon further review decided to turn it into a standalone post.  So without further ado, here we go.

Chris’ Predictions:

Wins: 77

NL Central Finish: 4th

Team MVP: Ryan Braun

Before the ill-advised signing of Kyle Lohse, I had the Brewers at around 75 wins. Lohse should give them a couple of extra wins. That’s what is frustrating to me: Committing $33MM to Lohse has only made a mediocre team a slightly better mediocre team. They would have been better off keeping the draft choice and reinvesting the money they will be wasting on Lohse on rebuilding a farm system that is desperately short on impact players.

In any case, the Brewers will likely have a better bullpen than last year (a statement which is damning with faint praise), a group of starters featuring one top-of-the-rotation pitcher, and an offense that will be hard pressed to match the prolific output of last season. Brewers fans should not expect Ramirez, Gomez and Aoki to repeat their 2012 seasons, and should expect Lucroy, Hart  and Braun to settle closer to their career numbers, and Segura to have the usual bumpy ride 23 year old players often have. With so much offensive over-achievement in 2012, it is hard to imagine the 2013 team finishing third in MLB in runs. The biggest question to me is not how many games will the Brewers win, but what will they get for Corey Hart when they trade him at the deadline?

Mike’s Predictions:

Wins: 80 (If everything goes well)

NL Central Finish: 3rd

Team MVP: Ryan Braun

My initial impulse for the 2013 Milwaukee Brewers had them at right around .500.  Then they went out and (over)signed free agent (and aging) pitcher Kyle Lohse and brought back fan nemesis Yuniesky Betancourt…..now I’m thinking more like 75.

The problem, as it has often been with the Brewers, is pitching.  The young arms that held so much promise at the end of last season seem to have melted in the Arizona desert.  That led to the desperate reach for Lohse.  Even if the young pitchers perform better than they have so far this spring, it’s still unlikely they’ll be able to eat up enough innings to keep the bullpen from being stressed.  And with first baseman Corey Hart missing the first few weeks of the season, the offense will be hard pressed to compensate.  That will leave Milwaukee looking up at Cincinnati and St. Louis in the NL Central and battling Pittsburgh to stay ahead of the Cubs.

Wally’s Predictions:

Wins: 82

NL Central Finish: 3 rd

Team MVP: Yuniesky Betancourt Ryan Braun

I wasn’t as down on the original, young pitching staff which the Brewers were going to head into the season with as some were.  I didn’t think they’d be world beaters but thought they’d be serviceable enough. With the signing of Kyle Lohse though I have a bit more confidence in the rotation, no matter how much the move reeked of downplayed panic or may hurt the club moving forward.  The bullpen simply has to be better too but then we’re not setting the bar that high vs last year now are we.  It would be a lot to ask the offense to produce like they did last year but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Braun will put up Braun numbers & we’ll get a full season out of Lucroy to make up for any fall off from Ramirez, assuming Luc’s wife doesn’t drop something on him again.  I also think Jean Segura may surprise all of us with a solid season at the plate.  Should the pitching surpass all expectations we could see the possibility of a wildcard team. More realistically though we’ll see a (barely) winning year from the ‘Crew but one that will leave them in the middle of the pack of the NL Central & empty seats in Miller Park come October.


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