Milwaukee Brewers: Contenders or Pretenders after 2018 MLB Trade Deadline?

The Milwaukee Brewers made all the right moves at the 2018 MLB Trade Deadline, in order to make a strong postseason push.

By Jared Wolfe

It is always hard to speculate what teams made the right moves at the MLB Trade Deadline and be deemed the “winner,” but to me, the Milwaukee Brewers did an excellent job at fixing their team needs.

Maybe my statistical analysis was looking precisely what they were, but based on my Predator Baseball analytics, the Brewers were in much need of a spark offensively to bolster their lineup more than their need for pitching.

Although we have seen over the past couple playoff pushes that teams have made that you cannot have enough pitching, I think the Brewers have been doing fine with theirs.

Based on my analytics, I see the Brewers pitching staff has achieved 3.70 wins above the average pitching staffs in 2018, best for 10th in the MLB. Even more important, that puts them well above the rest of the NL Central by over four wins. No other team is above average.

NL Central Pitching Predator Wins Above Average:

  • Brewers = +3.70
  • Cardinals = -1.38
  • Pirates = -1.68
  • Cubs = -2.06
  • Reds = -5.61

On the other side of the ball, the Brewers were, as I said before, in need of a way to bolster their lineup. Their offense ranks 19th in On-Base Percentage and 15th in Slugging Percentage in the MLB.

Although Jesus Aguilar has been a phenomenal surprise for their team and free agent pickups Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich have been good players for when they have been healthy, they needed more consistency. They even rank 4th in the NL Central in offensive output based on my analytics.

NL Central Hitting Predator Wins Above Average:

  • Cubs = +4.19
  • Reds = +1.44
  • Pirates = +1.00
  • Brewers = -0.47
  • Cardinals = -0.76

Offense is what the Brew Crew needed, and that is what they received at the Trade Deadline with the acquisitions of Mike Moustakas and Jonathon Schoop.

Jonathon Schoop will not jump off your stat sheet in 2018. However, he is coming off a phenomenal week where he won AL Player of the Week. During the week he absolutely raked, crushing homers in 5 consecutive games and seven in the past nine games during that span.

In total, the week’s stat line looked like this: 11 for 29 with a slash line .379/.379/.931, 13 RBI, and 6 Runs Scored. Even with that week he is still technically hitting below average this season but knowing that players sometimes sort-of wake up in the second half and now that he is moving to a contender, I expect him to have a more Schoop-like end of the season.

Mike Moustakas was the big free agent that just did not sign anywhere this offseason. Over the past couple seasons, he has been a consistent player for the Royals and nothing has changed in 2018.

This year he has been a slightly above average hitter with a .766 OPS. He is a steady defensive player and, which I think is most important, a real winner. He had already been on a World Series Championship team back in 2015. His leadership and All-Star Caliber of play will impact the Brewers down the stretch in a positive way.

Do I think the Brewers got a lot better at the Trade Deadline? Probably not. However, I do believe they made the right acquisitions to fit their team needs.

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I think Moustakas and Schoop will have a significant impact on their ball club and help them make the final push to the playoffs.

Time will tell, but I think the race for the NL Central between the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers will be a dogfight through the final week of September.

The Brew Crew needed hitting, and they sure got it.

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