The Milwaukee Brewers missed out on the play-offs last season and the St. Louis Cardinals won the division. During the offseason a lot of change occurred. David Stearns stepped down into an advisory role and Matt Arnold slid in as the new leader of baseball operations. Arnold made quite a few trades over the winter, revamped the bullpen, and signed free agent Brian Anderson. The big question is whether or not those moves will be enough to help the Brewer regain the National League Central crown. According to ZiPS’ start of spring odds, that answer is no.
According to ZiPS start of spring odds, the Brewers have a 21.9% chance of winning the National League Central in 2023.
Odds to win the NL Central, per ZiPS projections:
1. #STLCards – 68.7%
2. #Brewers – 21.9%
3. #Cubs – 8.1%
4. #Reds – 0.9%
5. #Pirates – 0.5%
— MLB Deadline News (@MLBDeadlineNews) February 12, 2023
The Cardinals odds to win the division are the highest at 68.7%. ZiPS predicts that the Red Birds will finish with a 91-71 record. They predict that the Brewers will win just 83 games. Milwaukee has had 86 wins or more every season since 2017 (excluding the shortened 2020 season). To me, these projections seem low in regards to the Brewers win total.
ZiPS may like St. Louis due to their roster depth because the Cardinals did not make a lot of moves this off-season. Their main headline was signing Willson Contreras, in which his brother William Contreras now plays for Milwaukee.
Looking further at ZiPS’ projections, the Cardinals have a 79.1% chance of making the playoffs whereas the Brewer are at 39.7%. The Cardinals have an 8.1% chance of winning the World Series and the Brewers 1.8%.
A lot can happen over the course of the season, but for now ZiPS does not favor the Milwaukee Brewers winning the National League Central.