As we all know, money makes the world go ’round. Gambling created quite a stir around the state of Wisconsin earlier this year, though it can also be a fun (and potentially lucrative) hobby if one is able to exercise restraint and know what their limits are. Often times, the people in Vegas or at sites like Bovada that set the lines are most in tune with what is going on in regards to a certain event. This year, Bovada has released several interesting prop bets regarding our beloved Milwaukee Brewers. Place your bets wisely!
Home Run Over/Under
After a tough start to the spring, Ryan Braun’s bat has really come around lately, and he has put up a 1.187 OPS with three home runs in 43 plate appearances this spring. After struggling with a nagging nerve injury last season, Braun has proclaimed he is healthy, and if he is truly is, he’s got a good chance to hit the over on 24.5 home runs. Khris Davis, who I believe who could be a breakout candidate this season, was among league leaders in isolated power last season and has hit a home run every 21.27 plate appearances during his major league career. He should also hit the over. Adam Lind’s power wasn’t all there with only six home runs last season in 96 games last year, but he has posted four seasons of over 20 home runs in his career. If Lind can stay health enough to play 120 games, hitting over 15.5 home runs shouldn’t be a problem.
Runs Batted In Over/Under
Ramirez is slated to get regular rest during the season, and hasn’t gone over over 66 RBI in either of the last two years. Ramirez will start the season as the cleanup hitter for the Brewers, but may not be there long if he continues to lack power, as he did in the second half last season. I would take the under on this one.
Batting Average Over/Under
Luc’s career average is .285, and he has only hit over .295 twice in his five big league seasons. In 2012 and 2014, his two best offensive seasons, Lucroy was aided by BABIP marks much higher than his career average. Though Luc is one of the best hitting catchers in baseball, it’s unlikely he can repeat such a high batting average without again having exceptional luck. I would take the under on this one.
Stolen Bases Over/Under
Gomez will begin the season as Milwaukee’s lead-off hitter, a role that manager Ron Roenicke seems to love Gomez in. He has stolen 74 bases over the past two seasons, and has stolen 33 or more bases in four different seasons during his career. Gomez plays the game all-out, all the time, so it seems unlikely that he will reign in his aggressiveness on the basepaths. Gomez has greatly improved his on-base ability during the last two seasons, and if he can keep that trend up, there should be plenty opportunities for him to swipe a bag. I would go with the over on Go-Go Gomez.
Total Wins Over/Under
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Both Peralta (17 wins) and Lohse (13 wins) topped these marks last season, though Garza fell short with only eight wins last season while making only 27 starts. Garza has a history of health issues, and hasn’t made more than 30 starts or pitched more than 163.1 innings in any season since 2011. When healthy, however, Garza has proven he can be one of the more effective starers in the game. I am on the fence about this one. Lohse has been the most consistent starter on the staff since joining the Brewers in 2012, and should continue that consistency this year. I would take the over on his 11.5 wins. Peralta has the best stuff on the Brewers staff, and led the team in wins and innings pitched last season. If he can maintain the control he showed last season and bump up his strikeouts just a tick, he could be an ace in this league. I would take the over on Big Wily, as well.
Total Saves Over/Under
Rodriguez had a career renaissance last season, saving 44 games and pitching to a 3.04 ERA in 68 innings for the Brewers last season. Despite giving up a career high 14 home runs and recording a 4.50 FIP, the Brewers re-signed K-Rod this winter to reprise his role as closer in the back end of the Milwaukee’s bullpen. Rodriguez has saved greater than 35 games in six seasons during his career, and if the Brewers’ play solid baseball, K-Rod should have plenty of opportunities to shut the door in the ninth. I would take the over on Rodriguez at 34.5 saves.
League Leader in Home Runs-Ryan Braun 50/1
While I think Braun should have a great bounceback campaign at the plate if he is as healthy as he says, I still think leading the league in homers is a long shot.
NL MVP-Jonathan Lucroy-6/1
Lucroy finished fourth in voting last season, and is probably the best all-around catcher in baseball right now. However, with players like Andrew McCutchen, Giancarlo Stanton, and Clayton Kershaw that are perennial candidates year in and year out, Luc with have plenty of competition. I wouldn’t bet on Lucroy to win the award this season.
Over/Under Total Wins-Milwaukee Brewers-78.5
This year’s Brewers’ team looks better to me on paper than the one that won 82 games last season. Adam Lind should provide a huge boost at first base, while player like Khris Davis, Jean Segura, and Ryan Braun should all improve over their numbers from last season. The rotation should be fine as long as everyone stays healthy, and I’m confident that the combination of Mike Fiers/Jimmy Nelson can replicate or even best the combined 4.01 ERA that the now departed duo of Marco Estrada/Yovani Gallardo put together last season. I’m certain the Brewers’ will be in competition for at least one of the Wild Card spots once October rolls around, so I would take the over on 78.5 wins in a heartbeat.