Everyone seems to be picking the St. Louis Cardinals to win the National League Central. Hell, even I am. But one national writer is going out on a limb — Fox Sport’s Jon Paul Morosi is picking the Brewers to win the Central, and doesn’t even have the Cardinals in second place. Maybe he should start talking to Keith Law about how to deal with an army of angry St. Louis fans.
From Morosi’s piece:
The Brewers scored 785 runs last year, the most of any National League team that didn’t reach the postseason. As long as Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder are batting in the middle of their lineup, they should continue to have plenty of offense.
In fact, Ken Macha’s mashers might be even more productive this year, thanks to a healthy Rickie Weeks in the leadoff spot.
But the big change – and the reason why they will win the division – is an improved pitching staff. General manager Doug Melvin signed Randy Wolf, Doug Davis and the perpetually underrated reliever LaTroy Hawkins. And some homegrown pitchers (remember this name: Zach Braddock) will be ready to contribute soon.
There is no way that the Brewers will have the second-worst team ERA in the league, as they did last year. And that’s why they will be playing in October.
That’s certainly a surprise, especially after reading Michael Hunt’s “turd in the punch bowl” column about the team’s rotation. I wish I had the optimism to make that kind of pick, but I can’t bring myself to pick the Brewers higher than a tie for second place. The Cardinals definitely have some holes outside of Pujols/Holliday in the lineup and Carpenter/Wainwright in the rotation, but their Top 4 guys are better than any other Top 4 in the division.
Still, it’s always nice to see some respect for the team from the national writers.