1. Milwaukee Brewers
To be the man, you gotta beat the man. Wooo! All joking and Ric Flair references aside, the Milwaukee Brewers won the NL Central last season behind an MVP performance from Christian Yelich and an equally impressive season from Lorenzo Cain. The Brew Crew were at or near the top of the National League in almost every key offensive category last season and there’s no reason to think they won’t be there again.
For some reason, the Brewers are not receiving much love heading into the 2019 season. Sure, the Cincinnati Reds have stole the majority of the headlines in the division for their impressive trade deals, but the Brewers did nothing to hinder their ability to repeat as division champs in 2019, in fact, they may have improved them.
I know that Yasmani Grandal did not have an impressive run in the postseason, but his regular season was superb and was a big reason that he landed the one-year/ $18.25M deal with the Brewers this offseason. Grandal’s 24 home runs last season for the Dodgers will likely increase in Milwaukee’s hitter-friendly ball park. The Brewers trailed only the league-leading Dodgers in home runs last season.
The Brewers had three position players performing at All-Star levels last season, even though Travis Shaw didn’t get the invite to the Midsummer Classic. Though his batting average barely scraped above .240, the Ohio-native smacked 32 home runs and 86 RBIs.
Mike Moustakas, whom Milwaukee acquired mid-season, returns to the Crew this season and will play second base rather than his customary spot at the hot corner. In 54 games with the Brewers last season, Moose slashed .256/.326/.441 with 8 homers.
There’s also a young man by the name of Christian Yelich that plays for the Brewers, perhaps you’ve heard of him? Yelich led the National League in hitting last season, outpacing Scooter Gennett down the stretch and finishing with a .326 average. He also lit up the Cincinnati Reds throughout the season and hit for the cycle on two different occasions against the Redlegs.
The Brewers are no fluke folks, and until a team in the NL Central proves otherwise, they have to be considered the best offensive team in the division. Again, this division is so close and the Cincinnati Reds are right in thick of it. The NL Central will be the most competitive division in baseball and may contain the most pop in all of Major League Baseball.