Brewers: Constructing the Perfect Starting Rotation for 2021

Brandon Woodruff, Milwaukee Brewers Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Brandon Woodruff, Milwaukee Brewers Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Brewers starting rotation performed admirably during the 2020 season. To do so again in 2021, this would be the perfect setup.

The 2020 Milwaukee Brewers season can pretty much be described in one simple way: the pitching was good and the offense was bad. In regards to the pitching, the starters, as is their nature, led the way as they finished 4th in the majors with a combined 6.4 fWAR.

To improve the team’s standing in 2021, Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns will need to do what he can to improve one of the worst offenses in the league. But the starting rotation carrying a strong performance over into next season would be extremely helpful as well.

So what would a starting rotation that could get that accomplished look like, one that would be realistic within Milwaukee’s payroll constraints, anyway? Because every team would love to just have five versions of NL Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer, but that doesn’t make it possible.

We’ve already taken our crack at creating the perfect lineup for next season. So without further adieu, here’s now a swing at making the Brewers’ perfect rotation for 2021.

Ace/SP1: RHP Brandon Woodruff

There’s another Brewer pitcher who will be discussed shortly that made a very strong case in 2020 for being appointed the team’s ace next season. But if all were to perfectly, it would be Brandon Woodruff holding on to the throne for the second straight season.

That type of continuity isn’t something that Milwaukee or their fans have seen for a little while. In fact, the Brewers have had a different opening day starter for each of the past six seasons since Yovani Gallardo was responsible for the duty from 2010 to 2014.

“Woody” earned the nod after a standout 2019 season that saw him go 11-3 with a 3.62 ERA, a 1.142 WHIP, and 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings. He also was named an All-Star for the first time in his career and started the team’s 2019 Wild Card game against the Washington Nationals.

All Woodruff did last season was get even better. He set new career highs in each of the aforementioned marks with a 3.05 ERA, 0.991 WHIP, and 11.1 K/9. His 2.20 walks per nine and .203 batting average against were also career bests.

There’s no one else on the pitching staff who the team can say has been a consistently above average starter for the Brewers over both of the last two seasons. Because of that, Woodruff stays the team’s ace in 2021.