Milwaukee Brewers in trouble as bidding deadline approaches

After winning 95 games last year and returning a team with three real aces in the rotation and a strong roster, all led by Craig Counsell, who some consider best manager in baseball — The Milwaukee Brewers were popular players who repeatedly became champions of the Central National League.

With a week left before the annual trading deadline, the Brewers did indeed lead Central through Monday with a 53-44 record. And with an expanded playoff field creating a third-place finish in every league, Milwaukee could seemingly rest on its laurels and continue the playoffs.

They may not be willing to start flying flags just yet, and they may need reinforcements if they want to get there before October.

While it’s impossible to accurately predict future results, mileage differential — a simple calculation of a team’s points scored versus the miles allowed — has proven to be one of the most accurate measures of a team’s quality. And based on a formula originally devised by Bill James that uses a mileage differential to create an “expected” team record, the Brewers should actually be behind St. Louis. Louis Cardinals in Center for four games instead of two.

The competition is pretty wide for three NL wildcards as well, if you adjust for the mileage differential. Atlanta Braves, with a score of 58-40 through Monday, was in first place, and their expected record of 57-41 should have been as well. But instead of the San Diego Padres in second and the Philadelphia Phillies in third, the difference in mileage indicates that the order should have been the Braves-Phillies-Brewers, while the Padres and Sun The Francisco Giants are on the Milwaukee trail about half the time. – game from the third place.

The Brewers’ vulnerability isn’t all that surprising.

Freddy Peralta, one of the team’s aces, has been on the injured list since May with a shoulder injury. Center fielder Lorenzo Kane was released after hitting rock bottom after several years of solid service. Shortstop Willie Adams, who greatly strengthened the team after the May deal last season has declined significantly. Third baseman Jace Peterson, who leads the team with 2.4 wins without a substitution this season, was recently put on the injured list.

Even Josh Hader, the team’s closest All-Star, who shared the lead in saves in the major leagues until Monday, had a hard time watching his ERA go from 1.05 on July 3 to 4.50 in July. Opponents pressured him with the ball, resulting in a .722 on-base and slugging percentage, 301 points worse than he allowed last season.

Given this list of hurdles, the Brewers did surprisingly well. Now the question is, who could they add on the deadline to apprehend St. Louis, as well as a gaggle of wildcard contenders.

The gem of this year’s options trading is the outfielder Juan Soto. The Washington Nationals could trade Soto, the 23-year-old superstar who has two more years of control of the team after he recently turned down a $440 million contract extension. The price tag, though, would be extraordinary and would likely rule out any team that doesn’t have a minor league tiered system.

However, there are many vendors who will not claim a trophy like the one needed for Soto. Chicago Cubs looking to get some bang for the catcher Wilson Contreras, a three-time All-Star who is eligible for free agency during the off-season. Teams looking for a starting pitcher may contact the bottom seed Cincinnati Reds about Luis Castillo or unfortunate Oakland Athletics about Frankie Montas. And the amazing Baltimore Orioles, who embraced their youth movement and discovered something akin to legitimacy, might try to fill their closets by offering Trey Mancini, a veteran slugger with some positional versatility.

The Brewers can also sit on the sidelines, wait for Peralta and Peterson to come back off the injured list, expect Hader to improve and wish Adams rediscovers his year-old second-half magic.

But baseball is often a trail game, and 29 teams watched the Braves fall behind in their division by last year’s deadline. make some smart deals and then speed past the Metz on your way to World Series title. So the teams on the bubble this year are probably hoping to find their own Eddie Rosario or Jorge Soler.

If the Brewers want to delay the Cardinals, they can make a phone call.