Milwaukee Brewers: Is this offense better than it was in 2011?
The 2011 Milwaukee Brewers was the most exciting Brewers team in recent memory. They had everything, the pitching, the swagger, and the hitting.
That offense with Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Nyjer Morgan, Corey Hart, Carlos Gomez, and Jonathan Lucroy was one of the best in baseball. Could these Brewers in 2017 possibly have a better offense than the star-studded lineup of 2011?
Let’s take a look at the first half numbers for both teams. Both teams had about 3100 at-bats through the first half so the sample sizes are similar.
The 2011 team scored 405 runs, with 149 doubles, 103 homers, and 59 stolen bases. The team slash line was .257/.321/.418 and they had 1293 total bases.
Now let’s compare that to the 2017 offense in the first half. This team has scored 451 runs, with 165 doubles, 138 homers, and 75 stolen bases. The team slash line was .255/.326/.451 with 1399 total bases.
So that’s almost 50 more runs scored, 16 more doubles, 35 more long balls, and 16 more stolen bases and well over 100 more total bases. That’s quite the difference over the same number of games.
Also, the 2017 team has drawn 302 walks compared to 277 free passes in 2011. That’s fairly significant considering the 2017 lineup doesn’t possess the feared Prince Fielder, Corey Hart, or Jonathan Lucroy that was there in 2011.
However, the 2011 team struck out only 630 times in the first half, as opposed to the 874 strikeouts that this current team has. An extra 200+ strikeouts certainly is concerning but the overall game has changed since 2011.
But this team has more firepower than 2011, which was a team fans tend to associate with the home run. That 2011 group was the highest achieving Milwaukee Brewers team since the 1982 World Series team. Could these Brewers top that?
They may make it to the World Series, they may not, but regardless of that, a division title in 2017 could make this the highest achieving Brewers team given the expectations heading into the season. Virtually no one gave this team a chance at the playoffs at the outset of the season and some odds-makers still don’t believe in the Brew Crew.
Could this 2017 group have the same sort of magic as the 2011 Crew? We can only hope. They have the offense, they have the swagger, the only thing they’re missing is the pitching. They’re rumored to want Sonny Gray from Oakland and he could very well end up in Milwaukee. But don’t rule out a bullpen piece as well.
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If these Milwaukee Brewers can continue to outscore their opponents, they have a real shot at making the playoffs. They have the offense, they have the swagger, all they’re missing is the pitching. If the pitching can become consistently good, then the Brewers are real World Series contenders.