Brewers’ Playoff Odds Take Hit With Loss of Top Pitcher Jimmy Nelson
The Milwaukee Brewers still plan on shooting for the 2017 MLB playoffs down the stretch of the regular season. They just won’t be doing so at full strength.
Per multiple reports, the team has learned that star pitcher Jimmy Nelson (shoulder) will miss the remainder of the season:
Jimmy Nelson will undergo shoulder surgery on Tuesday in LA, but won’t know the severity of the procedure until they get in there.
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) September 15, 2017
Nelson injured his shoulder while diving back to first base in his last start and was quickly ruled out for the rest of the year. Nelson is expected to undergo surgery next Tuesday and it is then that he will learn the severity of the injury and what type of surgery is needed.
After talking with medical officials, reports suggest Nelson is optimistic about his surgery and that he has a strong chance of returning in 2018 at full strength.
This is understandably a massive loss for the Brewers, who head into Friday night’s series with the Miami Marlins just three games out of first place in the NL Central.
Milwaukee has been staying the course to this point, getting by on solid pitching and timely power. That hasn’t been an easy accomplishment, however, especially since Nelson has been by far their best arm on a roster light on high level pitching.
Nelson was enjoying a career year throughout the 2017 campaign, registering a strong 12-6 record with a 3.49 ERA and 199 strikeouts. Arguably Nelson’s best season in the majors ends after 29 starts.
Playoff Odds Hit
This is a blow for Nelson and Milwaukee’s pitching, but the long-term view for this season could have this injury derailing the Brew Crew’s playoff run.
Even if the Brewers can’t fend off the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals for the division title, they would still have an outside chance at locking up a wild card spot.
Losing Nelson makes either plight that much more difficult. Top MLB betting sites like Bovada currently give the Brewers +3300 odds to make it to the World Series, while BetOnline hands them +4000 odds to win it all.
Needless to say, with Nelson hitting the shelf, a Brewers team that already looked to be on the outside looking in could be in serious trouble.
Next Man Up
Milwaukee isn’t exactly dead in the water just yet, as they still have quality arms in Chase Anderson and Zach Davies leading the way.
The pressure is on the Brewers’ veteran hurlers to carry the defense moving forward, however, while youngsters like Brandon Woodruff and Brent Suter could be asked to take on a bigger workload.
On the surface the Brewers are increasingly looking like a poor bet to catch the Cubs or nab a wild card spot. They still feel like a dangerous team that could catch fire and provide value heading into the playoffs, but the Jimmy Nelson injury may very well end up being the final nail in their coffin.
Suffice to say, betting on the Brewers just got a lot harder. Milwaukee remains in play on a daily basis based on their matchups, but without Nelson, they’re an extremely poor bet to make any real noise if they sneak into the playoffs.
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