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Milwaukee Brewers: Comparing Lineups In NL Wild Card Game

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 11: Mike Moustakas #11 of the Milwaukee Brewers celebrates with Yasmani Grandal #10 and Cory Spangenberg #5 after hitting a three-run home run in the third inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on September 11, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 11: Mike Moustakas #11 of the Milwaukee Brewers celebrates with Yasmani Grandal #10 and Cory Spangenberg #5 after hitting a three-run home run in the third inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on September 11, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – SEPTEMBER 18: Keston Hiura #18 of the Milwaukee Brewers celebrates a home run with third base coach Ed Sedar #0 during the sixth inning against the San Diego Padres at Miller Park on September 18, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

First Base

Eric Thames vs. Matt Adams

Eric Thames had a resurgent 2019 season. He burst onto the scene in 2017, then regressed and lost playing time to Jesus Aguilar in 2018, then both he and Aguilar struggled out of the gate in 2019. Eventually, Thames got hot and Aguilar couldn’t, eventually getting traded to Tampa Bay.

Thames finished the regular season with a .247/.346/.505 slash line with 25 home runs and a 117 OPS+

It’s kind of a timeshare at first base for the Nationals, with Matt Adams having the bulk of the at-bats, but Ryan Zimmerman and others also get time there. Most of their options are below-average hitters. Adams is hitting .226/.276/.465 with 20 homers and a 83 OPS+.

Edge: Brewers

Second Base

Keston Hiura vs. Asdrubal Cabrera

Keston Hiura has been everything as advertised since joining the Milwaukee Brewers. He’s got a big bat with power, a talented hitter, strikes out a bunch, and is a generally poor defender. But that bat is special. In his rookie year, Hiura hit .303/.368/.570 with 19 homers and a 138 OPS+. He’s going to need to step up in a big way in this game.

Asdrubal Cabrera has really turned around his season with the Nationals. He started in Texas, had a huge slump to start the year, hitting .235 with an 80 OPS+ with the Rangers. Since joining Washington, Cabrera has hit .323/.404/.565 with a 143 OPS+. That’s a huge turnaround, but it’s only in 124 at-bats.

Edge: Brewers

Shortstop

Orlando Arcia vs. Trea Turner

So far in this comparison, the Milwaukee Brewers are 3-for-3. That streak is coming to an end. Orlando Arcia had another rough offensive season, hitting just .223/.283/.350 with a 64 OPS+. He also struggled at times making plays at shortstop. Although, Arcia has been known to kick it up a notch in September and October, having a strong postseason last year.

Trea Turner, however, is one of the best offensive shortstops in the league. Turner finished the regular season hitting .298/.353/.497 with 19 homers, 35 stolen bases, and a 113 OPS+. He’s the leadoff hitter for Washington and is as fast as you’ll see in the big leagues.

Edge: Nationals

Third Base

Mike Moustakas vs. Anthony Rendon

Mike Moustakas has had another good offensive season. After starting the year at second base and Travis Shaw struggling to begin the season, Moose moved back over to his natural position at third. This season, he’s hitting .254/.329/.516 with 35 home runs and a 114 OPS+. He’s come up in some big spots for the Brewers this year.

However, Anthony Rendon has outshined Moustakas this year. Rendon has put himself squarely in the top 5, possibly even the top 3 spots in the NL MVP voting. He hit .319/.412/.598 with 34 homers and a 153 OPS+ this season. Although his batting average dipped in the final week, giving Christian Yelich back-to-back batting titles, he’s still a force to be reckoned with.

Edge: Nationals

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