Brewers pitchers to be tested in rematch of NLCS
Two weeks into the 2019 season, pitching has been a weakness at times for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Milwaukee has allowed 5+ runs in five of 13 games so far this season, and its 5.45 ERA ranks 24th in MLB.
But one thing the Brewers pitchers have excelled at, and it should come as no surprise, is strikeouts. Milwaukee’s staff has produced 127 Ks and ranks second in strikeout percentage (25.8%), meaning the Brewers whiff just over a quarter of opposing hitters.
Pittsburgh ranks first on that chart with a staff K% of 28.
The Brewers are led, of course, by left-handed reliever Josh Hader, who has fanned 13 of the 25 hitters he’s faced this season.
Don’t forget about starting pitcher Corbin Burnes. Burnes has struggled on the mound at times, allowing a league-high six homers in 10 innings of work. But when he’s not giving up the long ball, Burnes has been sending hitters back to the dugout. His 18 strikeouts through two starts rank third all-time in Brewers history, behind Moose Haas in 1978 (21) and Claudio Vargas in 2007 (20).
Burnes’ teammate Freddy Peralta as well as Ben Sheets, who pitched for the Brewers from 2001-08, hold the franchise mark with 25 strikeouts through three starts.
Keep an eye on that this weekend.
Burnes and the Brewers will be tested this weekend when Los Angeles, the team that knocked Milwaukee out of the 2018 postseason, plays host to a three-game series at Dodger Stadium.
Through 14 games this season, the Dodgers have boasted the National League’s top offense — and it’s not close. Los Angeles leads the NL in in runs per game (6.86), batting average (.281), on-base percentage (.377), slugging percentage (.532), on-base plus slugging (.910), homers (29) and extra-base hits (58).
Dodgers hitters also strike out just 7.71 times per game — good for a mark of 18.1%, the lowest in all of baseball.
Los Angeles currently sits in second place in the NL West with an 8-6 record.
— The Brewers have scored 64.6% of their runs this season via homers, which leads MLB. The Yankees rank second (63.9%) and Central division rival Cincinnati (61.9%) is third.
— Los Angeles starting pitcher Walker Buehler has allowed a mere 0.75 homers per nine innings since 2016, which ranks fifth among big-league pitchers.
— Milwaukee owns a 22-19 record at Dodger Stadium since 2007, its best winning percentage (.537) at any opposing ballpark in that span.
— Sure, it’s a small sample size, but Ryan Braun is hitting a team-high .500 (6 for 12) with three homers when runners are in scoring position. He also has amassed a .969 on-base plus slugging mark over his career at Dodger Stadium, second only to St. Louis’ Paul Goldschmidt (1.001) among opposing players.
Statistics courtesy Sportradar