The 2023 Milwaukee Brewers O/U currently sits at 86.5 per FanDuel. Quite a low number for a team that has achieved 86 wins in each of the last five full seasons. So what would cause the sportsbooks to think that is the ceiling for the Brewers this year? More importantly, why are they right? The Brewers have found success in the regular season in recent years. This year, however, I feel as if the Brewers start their downfall.
2023 Milwaukee Brewers O/U: Why the Brewers will go Under
More question marks than check marks on the Offense
This Milwaukee offense heading into 2023 is far from as challenging as they have been in years prior. The 2023 Milwaukee Brewers O/U may be impacted heavily by the lack of big-time bats in this lineup. The Brewers have lost Kolten Wong, Hunter Renfroe, and Andrew McCutchen this off-season. None of them are superstars by any means, but they all provided added value that will be missed heading into the new year.
The outfield for the Brewers has to be the main focal point of worrisome heading into 2023. Losing both Renfroe and McCutchen, the Brewers are going to be relying on new faces. Jesse Winker finds his way back into the NL Central division after coming over from the Seattle Mariners in the Kolten Wong trade. Winker had a not-so-fun year in his only season with Seattle.
Playing through a neck injury that lasted the majority of the season, Winker comes off one of his worst seasons in a big league uniform. Slashing .219/.344/.344 with just 14 home runs. Throughout his career, Winker has not been able to hit left-handed pitching. A career .205 hitter with a .661 OPS, Winker should find himself in just a platoon role in the Milwaukee lineup.
Another reason to believe the 2023 Milwaukee Brewers O/U will go under, is the continual regression of former MVP Christian Yelich. Since 2021, Yelich has posted a .251/.358/.379 slugging with a wRC+ just above average at 107. Yelich still might have some gas left in his tank, but unfortunately gone are the days of him posting above seven WAR seasons. Brewers fans should be happy if he can put together around a 1.5-2 WAR-type season.
Schedule Reconstruction will Hurt
Probably the biggest reason I see the 2023 Milwaukee Brewers O/U failing to go over, is the new schedule for MLB. MLB implemented a new schedule format this season that will allow every team to play 29 other teams across both leagues. For teams to play every other team, they had to cut down on the number of divisional games played.
Milwaukee benefits from playing in one of baseball’s weakest divisions. Getting to play rebuilding teams like the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs, and Pittsburgh Pirates surely will help build up a team’s win total year after year. Last season, the Brewers played those three teams a total of 57 times and ended with a record of 33-24. This season with the new schedule, Milwaukee will only get to play them 39 times altogether.
The NL Central currently is the St. Louis Cardinals division for the taking. Milwaukee has stayed at the top with them for the past couple of years. To have any real shot, the 2023 Milwaukee Brewers O/U needs to go over. With the lack of spending this offseason, along with moves during last year’s trade deadline, ultimately the Brewers have fallen back from the contending Cardinals.
Starting pitching can get them far, they have relied on it for most of the past two years. For good reason, Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff are both studs on the hill. However, I don’t see enough to go with the starting pitching to believe the 2023 Milwaukee Brewers O/U will do anything but come up short.
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