Based on recent games, call-ups, and demotions, here is one man’s prediction based on the semi-cloudy crystal ball on a dining room table somewhere in Port Edwards, WI.
This is the easiest position to predict, as iron man Contreras has appeared in 132 games this year, slashing .284/.362/.460 across 573 trips to the plate. When he needs to take a break - which is seldom - Caratini (.252/.327/.382) performs admirably.
The righty/lefty ‘platoon’ of Santana and Tellez has struggled in September, batting a combined 21-for-98 (.214). Still, they have the potential to knock some balls out of the park (22 combined taters in 477 ABs) and make manager Craig Counsell forget about that low batting average.
Turang (.218/.287/.304) should get the most starts here, but Monasterio - usually a third baseman - will occasionally start at the keystone. Turang is much better defensively, but if he struggles at the dish, watch for Andruw to slide into the lineup.
Donaldson has started seven of the 11 games at the hot corner since he arrived in Milwaukee, and it seems he will continue to do so. Although hitting just .219/.324/.469 in 32 ABs, he has been an RBI machine (seven in nine games). Monasterio will fill in as needed at both second and third.
Adames has struggled this year(.213/.305/.407) but has been heating up in September, batting .264 with 13 ribbies in his last 53 ABs since Labor Day. Turang has filled in as needed, making nine starts at his original position.
Counsell has been playing mix-and-match with his outfielders this month, with Canha (14), Taylor (15), and Frelick (18) all getting more than a dozen starts. Perkins has been playing well since returning from Nashville, batting .273 (3-for-11) with one homer while making four starts in CF. Frelick will most likely get the majority of the nods from Counsell in the middle spot, while Canha and Taylor have been flip-flopping between LF and RF.
Yelich was sidelined for much of September with his balky back and the Brewers will keep him on the roster, allowing him to rest leading up to the postseason. Mitchell is on a rehab assignment and could return to Milwaukee on September 25, working on strengthening his left shoulder. If these two guys can get close to 100%, it will be a psychological boost for the Brewers, not to mention a little more offense and defense for the club.
Burnes, Woodruff, and Peralta are arguably the top starting threesome in baseball today and will start the three games in the NL Wild Card Series beginning October 3. Houser and Miley are capable starters and could pitch in relief if needed, although Miley has only pitched seven times in relief in his 13-year big league career.
The Brewers have to feel good about their bullpen. Let’s start with Williams, who has 35 saves and a WHIP of 0.918. This guy is the definition of a ‘lights-out’ closer. Milner is a lefty specialist, and Chafin will be the second southpaw out of the ‘pen.
Wilson, Payamps, and Uribe all have WHIPs under 1.09, combining for a very effective set-up group for Williams. Peguero is currently on the IL and is hoped to return in time for the beginning of the Wild Card Series.
The Brewers have had a nice run this year, getting stronger in September while second-place Chicago faded. Since taking over first place on August 3 for good in the NL Central, Milwaukee has played at a clip of .659 (29-15). They currently have a ‘World Series win’ possibility on Baseball-Reference.com of 7.5%.
If they keep playing well and the baseball ‘gods’ are kind, Milwaukee has a nice chance of winning their first World Series.
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