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ZiPS projects Brewers to win 83 games, finish second in NL Central

The Brewers young outfield looks to breakout in 2023

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Milwaukee Brewers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The ZiPS projections for the 2023 season have been released, with Milwaukee projected to win 83 games and finish second in the NL Central. The Brewers have done a solid job retooling this offseason, while still managing to cut costs. Their big move was a three-team deal to acquire William Contreras from the Braves. They also traded away some big pieces, like Kolten Wong and Hunter Renfroe.

The Brewers hitting situation looks interesting this season, as they have no superstar bat anywhere in the lineup, but don’t have any true offensive liabilities either. The ZiPS projections love the call-up of Sal Frelick and think that he has the capability to be a true contact hitter and decent enough power hitter to make some noise in the majors. After three somewhat average seasons, it is safe to say at this point that Christian Yelich will never get back to his former self, so with an outfield of Frelick, Garrett Mitchell, and Yelich, consistency could be an issue. Contreras and Jesse Winker should be able to provide some power as well in the middle of the order, especially at American Family Field.

Willy Adames leads all position players with a projected 4.3 WAR, followed by the third base combo of Luis Urias and Mike Brosseau at 2.9. ZiPS projects Milwaukee’s biggest weaknesses at second base (1.6 WAR between Brice Turang and Abraham Toro) and designated hitter (1.5 WAR between Keston Hiura, Contreras, and Winker).

Pitching is where the Brewers have been the strongest, as they return two bonafide aces in Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff and a third starter in Freddy Peralta who would be an ace on several teams across the league. Aaron Ashby is still expected to be a strong starter, and Eric Lauer showed how good he could be throughout the majority of last season. Burnes, Woodruff, and Lauer all could be in play at the trade deadline, so it will be interesting to see how the rotation shapes out going forward.

The bullpen has slightly revamped this offseason, after trading away Josh Hader for Trevor Rogers and then letting him walk in free agency. They added Peter Strzelecki to try and help solidify the back of the bullpen and provide possible set-up innings for closer Devin Williams.

Burnes is projected at 5.0 WAR, followed by Woodruff (4.6), Peralta (2.5), and Lauer (2.2). The bullpen combines for a projected 3.9 WAR itself.

Milwaukee looks promising, and with the emergence of a few young outfielders, it could even exceed expectations. Again, this season, the questions will be with the offense, and if they can help the unbelievable pitching rotation.

To view the full ZiPS projection, click here.