HomeMLBMilwaukee Brewers Season Preview 2024 Odds and Predictions

    Milwaukee Brewers Season Preview 2024 Odds and Predictions

    Adam Burke's season preview for the Milwaukee Brewers as part of the VSiN 2024 MLB Betting Guide.

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    Milwaukee Brewers 2024 preview

    The fun times and positive vibes could to be coming to an end for the Milwaukee Brewers. I hate to begin a team preview with such a pessimistic take, but the Brewers, who have won 92, 86, 95, 89, 96, and 86 games over the last six full seasons look to be in some sort of quasi-rebuild period. 

    The 1-2 punch of Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff has been separated, with Burnes now in Baltimore and Woodruff out for the year following shoulder surgery. Electric closer Devin Williams is out until mid-June with stress fractures in his back. A lot of pieces and parts have been thrown into a hopper to put together a pitching staff that looks nothing like what we’ve seen in recent seasons from the Brew Crew.

     

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    Craig Counsell is the new Benedict Arnold in Milwaukee after leaving the team to become the manager of the hated Chicago Cubs. He wanted big money and the small-market Brewers were not willing to be leveraged like that, so Counsell bolted for Wrigleyville and baseball lifer Pat Murphy has taken over at the age of 65.

    Owner Mark Attansio seemingly pushed his financial resources to the brink in the quest for the first World Series in franchise history. He had five playoff appearances to show for it, but it feels like a new era of Brewers baseball has arrived.

    2024 Milwaukee Brewers Odds

    (odds from DraftKings as of Mar. 24)

    World Series: +9000

    NL Pennant: +4500

    NL Central: +750

    Win Total: 77.5 (-105/-115)

    Make Playoffs: Yes +280 / No -350

    Milwaukee Brewers Preview: Offense 

    Milwaukee will rely on 20-year-old Jackson Chourio to be the future of the franchise after signing him to an eight-year, $82 million deal with some escalators and club options. Chourio hit 22 homers and stole 43 bases in Double-A last season and finished the year at Triple-A. He just turned 20 on March 11 and his incredible athleticism is why the Brewers opted to lock him up before he stepped foot inside an MLB batter’s box.

    He’s said to have elite foot and bat speed and has taken to center field like a duck to water, despite starting as an infielder. He’s expected to grow even more into his power and it sure seems like the Brewers have a decade-long building block in the middle of this offense once he gets comfortable at the MLB level.

    The hope is that 2018 first-round pick Brice Turang, 2020 first-round pick Garrett Mitchell, and 2021 first-rounder Sal Frelick can also prove to be centerpieces on this roster. Milwaukee will be paying Christian Yelich through at least 2028 (barring a trade) and he’s still a good hitter, but he’s not the superstar that he was from 2016-19. Last season was actually his best with the bat since 2019, as he posted a 122 wRC+.

    So the hope would be for an infusion of youth from guys like Frelick, who made his MLB debut last season and posted a 92 wRC+ in 223 plate appearances. He hit well in the minors, but the projection systems are looking at a below average offensive season in his age-24 campaign. He is a good defender, though, and could be a more valuable player as a result.

    Turang is also a good defender, but the bat is up for debate. He stole 26 bases last season and will provide value defensively and on the basepaths, but it remains to be seen if he will get on  base enough to be a viable hitter. He batted well overall in the minors with a high walk rate and he did well to avoid strikeouts, but batting in deep counts often yields weak contact and that was his problem last season with a 26% Hard Hit%.

    Mitchell is another good glove man with some speed. He also has a bit more raw power than the other two, but he’s had some problems staying healthy in the minor leagues. He has held his own in two MLB cups of coffee across 141 PA. This will be a big year for him, but the projection systems are calling for a below average bat.

    In other words, more offense needs to come from somewhere. That’s a big reason why the Brewers signed Rhys Hoskins, who missed last season with a torn ACL, and catcher Gary Sanchez. The Brewers were 24th in wRC+ at 92 and they only hit 165 homers, the sixth-fewest in baseball. Sanchez has a lot of holes to his game, but power is not one of them, as he hit 19 dingers in just 267 PA last season. Hoskins hit 30 in 2022 and hasn’t hit fewer than 27 in a full season.

    William Contreras is a really nice player with a career 123 wRC+ over 1,182 plate appearances. Yelich is still a useful hitter. Willy Adames may be in line for something of a bounce back season after posting the lowest wRC+ of his career. This offense could be really interesting and I like the athleticism overall, especially with creating some surplus value on the bases.

    Milwaukee Brewers Preview: Pitching

    The defensive upside of the position player group may really come in handy this season based on who the Brewers look to be trotting out. Freddy Peralta is now the unquestioned staff ace and he was solid last season with a 3.86 ERA and a 3.85 FIP over 30 starts covering 165.2 innings of work. Without Burnes, Williams, Adrian Houser, and Woodruff, Peralta is the only guy in the top five in fWAR that will open the season on the active roster.

    Peralta should be fine, though he does profile more like a good No. 2 or great No. 3 starter. As you move down the list of starting pitchers, the notion that Peralta is the de facto No. 1 gets a little more concerning. Colin Rea, Jakob Junis, Joe Ross, and DL Hall are the other guys to get the first crack. I don’t think a whole lot of help is coming as the season rolls along either. Maybe this is the year that Aaron Ashby gets it together and hopefully Robert Gasser or Jacob Misiorowski can aid the cause.

    But, for right now, this rotation is rough. Hall is the clear upside guy of the group as the centerpiece of the Burnes deal with the Orioles. Hall has carried some incredible K% marks in the minor leagues, but he’s also issued a lot of walks. He made 18 appearances as a reliever last season for the Orioles and worked 19.1 innings with a 3.26 ERA and a 3.00 FIP, but the Brewers will stretch him out and that forces him to work deeper into his arsenal.

    Ross hasn’t thrown a pitch in the MLB regular season since 2021, so we’ll see how that goes. He’s thrown a total of 17 innings in affiliated ball in that span. I’m not holding my breath for much here. At least Rea proved to be healthy over 124.2 innings last season, but his 4.55 ERA and 4.90 FIP don’t inspire much confidence.

    Junis is actually a veteran of 168 MLB games at this point, including 110 as a starter. The Giants primarily used him as a bulk reliever last season and he was highly effective in that role, posting a 3.87 ERA with a 3.74 FIP in 86 innings of work. There’s a case to be made that the Giants really helped him a ton, as his Hard Hit% last season was 35.1% after sitting at 37.9% in 2022. He did throw his slider 62.5% of the time pitching mostly in relief. I don’t think he can sustain that as a starter, which means more fastballs and the return of his changeup, which he threw 16% of the time in ‘22.

    His changeup was awful, accounting for a -10.6 pitch value per FanGraphs. That’s his attempt at neutralizing the platoon split and I think he’ll struggle with that. The slider is a great weapon, but starting and turning over a lineup more forces you to go deeper into your bag and his bag isn’t that deep.

    This bullpen looks serviceable. Hoby Milner, Joel Payamps, and Trevor Megill were all terrific last season. The loss of Williams absolutely hurts, but the Brewers have fashioned really good bullpens over the last few seasons and I expect they’ll do the same again.

    Milwaukee Brewers Player to Watch

    SP DL Hall

    Injuries have definitely slowed Hall, who can run it up there in the upper 90s with a plus slider. It does appear right now to be more of a reliever arsenal, but the Brewers did well to get Hall’s tools, along with a good bat and quality defensive infielder in Joey Ortiz for Burnes. It is in Milwaukee’s best interest to try and milk every start that they can out of him and see if he can truly handle the grind or if he’ll have to slot into the bullpen as a likely shutdown reliever.

    For only being 6-foot-2, Hall’s long arm action and upper 90s cheddar gets on hitters very quickly. He works up in the zone with the fastball and should be able to pitch above the ideal swing plane for hitting home runs. He’s only allowed 33 of them in 386.1 innings. The slider and changeup command are the question marks and he only throws the changeup to righties, so it’s something that they can squat on a little bit. I do trust Milwaukee to develop him, though, as they’ve done pretty well with high-upside arms, like Burnes, Woodruff, and Peralta.

    Milwaukee Brewers Season Win Total Odds & Prediction

    I will readily admit that I expected to dislike the Brewers more than I do. When you look at the roster, it is very unassuming. That being said, I do still think that the rotation could be quite bad, but I think the offense is a lot more interesting and I do like the athleticism of the ballclub to produce some surplus value on the bases and save the pitching staff by playing potentially elite defense.

    All of that to say that I think this line is pretty fair. I think people will look at the loss of Burnes and the Woodruff injury and immediately think that this will be an Under team. I can’t blame them for that. However, I think this offense could be much closer to league average than it was last season and the bullpen should be good, even with a lack of household names.

    I don’t think that the Brewers have that high of a ceiling, so I would certainly lean Under, but I think the floor might be a little bit higher than people realize.

    Slight Lean: Under 77.5

    Get all of our preseason coverage in the 2024 MLB Betting Guide.

    Adam Burke
    Adam Burke
    Adam Burke is the Managing Editor of VSiN.com and has spent well over a decade in the sports betting content creation space. He has been with VSiN since 2021 and covers a wide range of sports, along with hosting the VSiN Daily Baseball Bets podcast.

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