Brewers best in NL when getting ahead in count

BY foxsports • September 8, 2016

A word to the wise as the Milwaukee Brewers take on the St. Louis Cardinals: Hitters, try to get ahead in the count.

Of course, batters always have an advantage when they are ahead in the count, but the Brewers are the top hitting team in that situation in the National League. Milwaukee is hitting .371 when ahead in the count (by comparison, St. Louis is at .344, which is 11th in the NL), according to STATS.

Baseball-reference.com appears to use a different criteria for what exactly is ahead in the count, but we can still see how Milwaukee flourishes in these situations.

According to baseball-reference, both Hernan Perez and Jonathan Villar are hitting over .340. Several players have an on-base percentage over .500 -- Martin Maldonado, who is struggling at the plate this year, leads at .592. And do you think getting ahead helps get players a nice pitch to drive? Chris Carter is slugging .709 and Ryan Braun is at an incredible .986.

Here's a look at Brewers' players batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage when ahead in the count, per baseball-reference.

Player AVG OBP SLG
Hernan Perez .353 .465 .588
Jonathan Villar .340 .524 .500
Chris Carter .313 .516 .709
Ryan Braun .313 .490 .986
Martin Maldonado .311 .592 .644
Keon Broxton .298 .551 .509
Scooter Gennett .298 .453 .430
Orlando Arcia .292 .553 .417
Domingo Santana .291 .518 .545
Kirk Nieuwenhuis .280 .550 .570

On the flip side, of course it would help Junior Guerra against St. Louis if he gets ahead in the count.

According to baseball-reference, hitters are hitting 273/443/453 when they are ahead in the count (still not bad, relatively speaking) but just 135/134/203 when Guerra is ahead.

Perhaps that's why Guerra has the fifth-lowest ERA in Brewers history in his first 18 starts with Milwaukee. Guerra has a 2.85 ERA in those starts, behind just Cal Eldred (2.10), Bill Parsons (2.34), Jamie Cocanower (2.53) and Jim Colborn (2.71).

Other notes:

-- Jonathan Villar has a six-game hitting streak against the Cardinals (9 for 26, .346).

-- Cardinals pitchers have struck out eight or more batters in 12 straight games.

Statistics courtesy STATS Inc. and baseball-reference.com



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