Shaw, Aguilar power Brewers to monster May

After racking up 128 RBI, 37 home runs and 19 wins in May — the most in the majors — the Milwaukee Brewers are hoping to roll right through June atop the National League Central.

Another strong month for sluggers Travis Shaw and Jesus Aguilar would certainly help.

Shaw hit .261/.340/.587 with eight home runs and 22 RBI last month, while Aguilar hit .272/.355/.565 with eight home runs and 22 RBI. And while they weren’t quite the best duo out there last month — J.D. Martinez and Mookie Betts of the Boston Red Sox had 13 and nine homers, respectively — Shaw and Aguilar were the class of the NL.

In the past decade-plus, only six duos in the NL have managed at least eight homers and 22 RBI in May. Shaw and Aguilar are the first Brewers twosome to do it since Prince Fielder and J.J. Hardy in 2007.

Year Team Players
2018 Brewers Jesus Aguilar & Travis Shaw
2018 Reds Scooter Gennett & Eugenio Suarez
2009 Phillies Ryan Howard & Raul Ibanez
2008 Phillies Ryan Howard & Chase Utley
2007 Reds Ken Griffey, Jr. & Adam Dunn
2007 Brewers Prince Fielder & J.J. Hardy

Fortunately, their first June matchup is a pretty juicy one.

The Chicago White Sox will send left-hander Hector Santiago to the mound. And while Shaw doesn’t hit particularly well against lefties (he’s batting .196 this season and .237 all-time against southpaws), Santiago has one of the highest ERAs in the American League over the last few seasons.

In fact, Santiago has the second-highest ERA in the AL since making the 2015 All-Star Game.

Active AL Pitchers, Highest ERA since 2015 All-Star Break

*Minimum 350 innings

Player ERA
Chris Tillman 5.55
Hector Santiago 5.05
Kyle Gibson 4.89
Martin Perez 4.80
Miguel Gonzalez 4.77

Aguilar has been fine against lefties this season at .290/.421/.581, but he’s been a monster in six inter-league games. Aguilar is hitting .471 with four home runs and a whopping 1.605 OPS in 17 interleague at-bats, some of the best numbers in the league.

Other notes:

— For the third time in franchise history, the White Sox enter June with the worst record in baseball.

— Brewers starter Chase Anderson has a career 2.93 ERA in interleague play, sixth-best amongst active NL pitchers.

Christian Yelich has multiple hits in five of his last six games. He’s hitting .444/.483/.778 over that span with 10 runs scored and seven RBI.

— The Brewers have a knack for clutch wins this season. They’re 15-5 in one-run games, while the White Sox are 5-14 in such situations.

— When the Brewers do lose, the difference is pretty stark. Milwaukee is hitting just .167 as a team in losses this season, down from .290 in wins.

Statistics courtesy of STATS and baseball-reference