By Tim Muma on March 12, 2014
Just as the Milwaukee Brewers have flaws that could keep them home in October, they're full of talent that will catapult them into the postseason. They don't need everything to go right, but there are a few factors playing a larger role in the club's success. It'll be a fun season in Milwaukee should these five things occur.
The Brewers had the best home record in MLB from 2011-2012 with a 106-56 mark. Last year, the Crew struggled to a 37-44 record at Miller Park, their worst season since 2004. Milwaukee also had the best home performance from 2007-2012 with a .588 winning percentage. Getting back to their "normal" home play will do wonders.
Brewers' pitchers typically give up bunch of fly balls, so having Gold Glove speedster Carlos Gomez roaming gap-to-gap is extremely valuable. Ryan Braun has made himself into a respectable outfielder with above-average range and a strong arm. Lastly, Khris Davis will be one of the most athletic left fielders in baseball, making the outfield a tough place for opponents to find hits.
As an all-around position, catcher may be the most important one. The Brewers need Jonathan Lucroy to continue his rise in the catching ranks. With great framing and solid blocking skills, Lucroy is strong behind the dish. Tack on continued development of his bat and Milwaukee has an edge. His .827 OPS the last two seasons is third-best for catchers in the NL.
This lineup is built to blast home runs and doubles, perfectly suited for Miller Park. Milwaukee's power will be on full display up and down the lineup, giving them a shot to out-slug opponents at home and keep the team in games on the road. The Brewers will lead the NL in home runs, and don't be surprised to see them at the top in runs scored.
With Kyle Lohse, Yovani Gallardo and Matt Garza holding the top three spots in the rotation, Milwaukee has a solid core leading the way. Should this trio pitch to their career averages and stay healthy, the Brewers will definitely be in the thick of the postseason chase. Pitching remains the ultimate weapon and the Brewers are well-stocked to challenge the field.
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