I am going to make this as quick as possible or I will never do this. Am using the projections that were from the beginning of the season to see if we should expect extreme regression for the Brewers. I must say, I do expect it, but just want to double check I should be (if I am to expect anything). These are the average expectation from 4 projection systems at fangraphs.com.
- Carlos Gomez 112 wRC+ / 4.6 fWAR
- Jonathan Lucroy 115 / 3.8
- Mark Reynolds 109 / .6
- Ryan Braun 146 / 4.8
- Scooter Gennett 91 / 1.4
- Aramis Ramirez 124 / 2.7
- Rickie Weeks 99 / .9
- Jean Segura 103 / 3.3
Totals: 112 wRC+ / 22.1 fWAR
- Kyle Lohse 3.97 ERAFIP / 4.13 FIP / 1.7 fWAR
- Matt Garza 3.71 / 3.74 / 2.1
- Yovani Gallardo 3.83 / 3.80 / 2.0
- Wily Peralta 4.25 / 4.22 / 1.1
- Marco Estrada 3.83 / 3.84 / 1.7
- Francisco Rodriguez 3.61 / 3.59 / .2
- Zach Duke 4.42 / 4.46 / 0*
- Will Smith 3.91 / 3.91 / .4
Totals: 3.94 ERAFIP / 3.96 FIP / 9.2 fWAR
So, the total fWAR average projection is 31.3. The Cardinals is 36.3. It's a long season, but we should not get discouraged. There is simply more talent on the Cardinals team than the Brewers. Sure it is not as big a difference probably, (definitely at this point I guess), but the Cards have a great chance of winning the division still, at least if the GOB are not completely spiteful about last year's RISP numbers, and the ways of mathenaging.
How are the Cardinals better? Their offense is better, for one thing. Even so far this year with the Cardinals sputtering... they're still better than the brewcrew. And the Cardinals are not as bad as they've been to start the season on offense. But the real significant difference should be in the pitching. The Cardinals just have better pitching, at least, they should on paper. Even in the regular season, the Cardinals have better stats in team ERA, FIP, and fWAR. However, the Brewers are ahead in xFIP so far.
Aside from the rough start, I really do think the Cardinals have the better team. The Brewers have been exceptionally lucky so far, and the Cardinals haven't had it all together, so this has made it much closer than it would have been. Will be interesting to see what happens.