Brewers could rediscover art of the steal vs. Braves

The Milwaukee Brewers have 27 stolen bases in 46 games this season, tops in the National League.

That pace would put them at 95 stolen bases on the season, well off their total of 124 a season ago.

Milwaukee’s current total wouldn’t even crack the top five in the American League, where the Kansas City Royals are leading the way with 44 stolen bases.

Milwaukee could close the gap a bit during their three-game series with the Atlanta Braves.

Opposing teams have stolen 18 bases against Atlanta this season and been caught just four times, the second-highest success rate in the major leagues.

Team SB CS SB%
New York Mets 32 7 82.1%
Atlanta Braves 18 4 81.8%
Los Angeles Dodgers 17 4 81.0%
New York Yankees 32 8 80.0%
Los Angeles Angels 27 7 79.4%

The Brewers teed off on the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday, winning 11-3 after hitting four home runs, but if the Braves keep things close, Milwaukee should still have the edge.

Milwaukee is 41-22 in one-run games since the beginning of 2018 for a major-league-leading .651 save percentage, while Atlanta ranks third with a .628 save percentage (27-16) in such games.

The Brewers have an obvious advantage in close games: Reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich, who hit home runs No. 17 and 18 in that win over the Phillies to reclaim his MLB lead.

He’s hitting the ball harder than ever this season.

Yelich has an average exit velocity of 95.1 mph, which ranks in the top 2% of major-league hitters per MLB’s Statcast, while his barrel percentage of 20% ranks in the top 1%.

There’s a lot of that going on in Milwaukee these days.

The Brewers are getting 55.6% of their offense from home runs this season, second only to the Houston Astros (55.9%).

Statistics via Sportradar and Baseball Savant