Last night, baseball fans watched as the Atlanta Braves put the final touches on the 2021 MLB season. They defeated the Houston Astros in Game 6 of the World Series, taking home their first title in 26 years.
At times, it felt like this might be the year that the Crew would advance to their second World Series in franchise history, and first since 1982. But as we all know, another offensive let down in the playoffs allowed the Braves to take the NLDS in four games last month.
Some Brewers fans are still in a mourning period over what should’ve been a longer 2021 season, while others have moved on toward the future. Whatever way you feel, there should be plenty of reasons to look forward to the next season of baseball for the Milwaukee Brewers franchise.
Here are three early reasons to be excited for the 2022 Milwaukee Brewers baseball season.
1. The Milwaukee Brewers should have a great chance at a second consecutive NL Central title.
Going into the 2021 season, the majority of pundits were predicting a three-horse race between the Brewers, the St. Louis Cardinals, and the Chicago Cubs for NL Central supremacy. Our own set of predictions was a split between the Brewers and Cardinals, but still generally had the Cubs at least being competitive.
Instead, the division ended up largely being Milwaukee’s to lose for most of the 2021 season. The Cincinnati Reds would make a midseason run before fading, as would the Cardinals late on the back of an incredible franchise record 17-game winning streak in September. But it never really felt to fans like the division would slip away once the team truly hit their stride.
As for those Cubs? After a July that saw them win just nine games, they decided it was officially time to start the rebuild, shipping off their entire core trio of Anthony Rizzo (Yankees), Kris Bryant (Giants), and Javier Baez (Mets).
And in the words of the wise NFL head coach Dennis Green, the Pittsburgh Pirates were who we thought they were.
There is still plenty of action to happen over this offseason that will go a long way toward determining who will have the best chance to take home the NL Central crown in 2022. But from a very early glance, there shouldn’t be any reason to think the Brewers won’t be right in the thick of things again.
Milwaukee should return a majority of their offense in 2022 and will hope that a new hitting coach can possibly return former MVP Christian Yelich and former first-round pick Keston Hiura to form. They will also return most of the key pieces of one of the league’s best pitching staffs.
The Cardinals find themselves in a similar situation and will likely battle the Brewers for that top spot. But the Reds seem to still find themselves somewhere in the middle of competing or not and the Cubs and Pirates appear to be just starting or continuing a rebuild, respectively.
There can be many reasons to look forward to a season, but extending a franchise record playoff streak like the Brewers should be top of the list.