MILWAUKEE — Coming off one of the best seasons in franchise history that included an MVP, an NLCS appearance and an NL Central title, the Brewers have only upgraded their roster — so why are they predicted to finish dead last in the division this year?
According to Fangraphs.com, not only are the Brewers projected last for a second consecutive season but they are also projected to finish below .500 at 79-83. The Reds are projected to go 81-81, after winning only 67 games last season.
So far this offseason, the Reds and St. Louis Cardinals have made the biggest moves of anyone in the league.
The Cardinals acquired six-time All-Star Paul Goldschmidt and two-time All-Star reliever Andrew Miller.
The Reds have acquired starting pitchers Alex Wood and Sonny Gray, along with outfielders Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp. These additions should make their team better because they will join an offense that already has Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez.
Regardless of any moves, the Brewers still have arguably the best bullpen in the league, they will get ace Jimmy Nelson back and still have Christian Yelich in their lineup.
These factors alone make it hard to believe they will finish last.
As it stands, Fangraphs predicts the Cubs to win the division with an 87-75 record.
If healthy, the Cubs will have the best starting pitching in the division and perhaps the entire league.
If these projections remain true, this would be the tightest divisional race since 1994.
For a full list of standings, click here.