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Know Your Enemy: Milwaukee Brewers

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The Brewers haven't made too many changes in their lineup or pitching staff this year.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Lind.

For quite some time Adam Lind has been a site meme here. I've actually tried searching for the famous FanPost regarding Lind that was posted here in 2009, but have had no luck. If anyone's got the link, please post it.

Anyway, Lind was having the best year of his career back then, .305/.370/.562 with 46 doubles and 35 home runs. That produced 3.9 bWAR and got him a Silver Slugger and some MVP votes. But even then, he was mostly a DH -- 92 games at DH that year, 55 in left field. He played more games at first base in 2014 than at DH -- barely, starting 43 at first, 36 at DH. He also missed a chunk of 2014 with injuries, playing in just 96 games overall. He hit reasonably well, .321/.381/.479, but with just six homers.

I mention all this because the Brewers acquired Lind from the Blue Jays in exchange for righthander Marco Estrada and are expecting him to be their fulltime first baseman in 2015. The most games he's ever started at first base in a season is 71, in 2013. I watched him play first base in Toronto last September and "adequate" is pushing it.

Good luck to the Brewers with that. Other than that, Milwaukee's starting lineup returns intact from 2014, and what they have to hope for is health and a better performance out of Ryan Braun, who was decidedly mediocre following his return from a PED suspension. In their rotation, they've got a reasonably strong 1-2-3 in Kyle Lohse, Matt Garza and Wily Peralta, but the No. 4 and 5 spots are a bit weak (Mike Fiers, Jimmy Nelson). Francisco Rodriguez, who did a good job closing for Milwaukee last year, is gone. As of now that leaves Jonathan Broxton in the driver's seat to get the closer's job, but the last time he did that on a fulltime basis was 2012. Behind him they have a collection of guys returning from injury, has-beens and never-weres. Good luck with that!

Milwaukee danced around the edges of the wild-card race last year before fading with a 9-17 September that left them barely over .500 at 82-80. They scored just 36 more runs than the Cubs did in 2014, and if they can't improve their offensive production the Cubs have a chance of passing them up in the division race.

The Cubs will face the Brew Crew 18 times this year, and as seems to happen often, there are big gaps in between series. They'll face each other in back-to-back weekends May 1-3 (Wrigley Field) and May 8-10 (Miller Park), then not again until late July. There's another series in August and a pair in the season's final two weeks, including the last three games of the regular season in Milwaukee. If the Cubs have the year we hope they can, those last three could be quite meaningful.

And as for Adam Lind? He's played just three career games against the Cubs, all in 2014. We'll likely see a lot more of him this summer.