2017 Jimmy Nelson (4.8 fWAR)
The ace of our All-Decade staff comes from a team that fell just a game short of the playoffs. That team had a few different starters who put up impressive seasons, but by fWAR, Nelson’s season was easily the best.
Nelson led the 2017 starting staff in FIP (3.05), strikeouts (199), and K/9 (10.2) on his way to a 12-6 record on the year. Unfortunately, a fluke baserunning injury made him miss most of September, though that didn’t stop him from finishing 9th in that year’s NL Cy Young voting.
2010 Yovani Gallardo (3.7 fWAR)
The original “Brewers pitcher who could rake” of the decade, Gallardo capped off the highest fWAR season of his career with an All-Star appearance and, amazingly enough, a Silver Slugger. That’s what happens when you’re a pitcher with a .837 OPS and four dingers.
But let’s not discredit his pitching stats here. He led the starters with a 14-7 record, a 3.84 ERA, a 1.368 WHIP, 9.7 K/9, and 200 strikeouts that year, his second season in a string of four straight with over 200 punchouts. His 3.02 FIP was the lowest of his career.
2012 Zack Greinke (3.4 fWAR)
Though he would be traded to the Angels in late July, Greinke’s partial 2012 season actually eclipsed his performance by fWAR in 2011 that helped lead the Brewers to the postseason. In fact, adding his performance with the Angels would tie him with Nelson for the ace spot in this rotation.
But we’re just focused on his Brewers stats. And though his 3.44 ERA wasn’t stellar, it still led the rotation, as did the win percentage from his 9-3 record, his 2.53 FIP, and his 0.5 HR/9 given up.
2019 Brandon Woodruff (3.3 fWAR)
Watching the beginning of last season when he compiled a 5.81 ERA over his first five starts, you might’ve been surprised that “Woody” would finish the year qualifying for an All-Decade team. But that’s exactly what happened as he cemented his role as staff ace and even grabbed an All-Star appearance in the process.
Woodruff missed almost two full months towards the end of the season with an oblique injury, which limited him to 22 starts. Still, he led the rotation in win percentage with an 11-3 record as well as FIP (3.01), WHIP (1.142), strikeouts (143), and K/9 (10.6).
2017 Chase Anderson (3.2 fWAR)
The final rotation spot goes to another member of the 2017 starting rotation. Though he wasn’t the power type of pitcher that Nelson was, he had an impressive season in his own right, matching Nelson in wins with 12.
Anderson led team starters that year in ERA (2.74), WHIP (1.090), and hits per 9 innings (7.2). He did all he could to pick up the slack once Nelson got injured, going 4-1 down the stretch and giving up one earned run or less in all but one of those outings.