Brewers: After 60 Games, How Does ’21 Crew Compare To 2020 Brewers?

CINCINNATI, OHIO - JUNE 08: Luis Urias #2, Willy Adames #27, and Jackie Bradley Jr. #41 of the Milwaukee Brewers celebrate after beating the Cincinnati Reds 5-1 at Great American Ball Park on June 08, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - JUNE 08: Luis Urias #2, Willy Adames #27, and Jackie Bradley Jr. #41 of the Milwaukee Brewers celebrate after beating the Cincinnati Reds 5-1 at Great American Ball Park on June 08, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

At 34-26, this year’s Brewers team has played the same amount of regular season games that the 2020 team played due to the late start thanks to COVID-19. Thankfully we have at least 102 more games to enjoy this year and life is returning back to how it was prior to the pandemic.

If the playoffs started tomorrow, Milwaukee would’ve won the NL Central by half a game. They’re currently one of the hottest teams in baseball, but how do they compare to the 2020 squad that snuck into the postseason?

First we’ll look at some schedule discrepancies. Last year’s team had a team run differential of -17 while this year’s team currently has a run differential of 0, interestingly enough. This year’s team is currently the only one in the MLB atop their division without a positive run differential but they’ve made it work.

Next, the 2021 Brewers have been much better on the road than the 2020 team. The 2020 team finished 14-17 on the road, while this year’s team is thriving on the road at 17-11.

The last schedule disparity is the difference of this year’s team against other good teams. The 2021 Brewers are 18-11 against teams above .500 while last year’s team was 19-24 against teams above the .500 mark.

So the 2021 Brewers have improved in the run differential category, their road record and have found ways to win games against other quality teams. But who are some of the main guys that have led the Crew to a 34-26 record 60 games in?

Some of the major contributors from last season have since departed and some of the guys who were in the biggest slumps last year have put that season in the rearview mirror and have become leaders.

One of the major differences from last year’s team to this year’s team is the home run leaders. Last year, Keston Hiura led the club with 13 home runs and Christian Yelich was right behind him with 12. This year, those two guys have combined for four home runs, but others have picked up the slack.

You would think with such a drop off for two of the better power hitters in the lineup a year ago that the club would suffer with hitting home runs as a whole but it hasn’t. This year’s team has one more (76) home run to this point than last year’s team did (75). Avisail Garcia leads the club with 12 and Luis Urias has seven. 19 Milwaukee hitters have big flies including Adrian Houser and Eric Lauer.

Speaking of Avisail Garcia, he and Omar Narvaez have shouldered much of the load in keeping the offense on its feet after both had poor 2020 seasons. Garcia is slashing .247/.319/.473 and is the team RBI leader as well with 34. Narvaez has the highest batting average on the team with a .315/.400/.508 slash line and looks to solidify an All-Star spot with a strong finish to the first half of the regular season. Without these two guys producing like they have in 2021, it’s impossible to say the Crew would be in first place in the NL Central.

Other major contributors that weren’t huge pieces for last year’s team include Kolten Wong, who’s been exceptional on defense and has been one of the more consistent hitters as well, Willy Adames, who’s seeing the ball very well since coming over from the Tampa Bay Rays and has brought energy, and Freddy Peralta, who’s established himself as one of the better strikeout pitchers in the MLB with his filthy slider and improving changeup.

Of course, some guys will regress but as mentioned earlier, there are still at least 102 more games to play so slump busting time could happen soon for guys like Jackie Bradley Jr., Travis Shaw and even Christian Yelich who hasn’t really looked like himself so far, but he has been battling a sore back also.

The 2020 team had a tendency of making fans want to pull their hair out in frustration because players were not playing up to their potential. This year, the pitching is even better somehow and the starting rotation is finally getting some run support…a match made in heaven for fans of the Brewers.

Next. 3 Players The Brewers Lost Faith In Too Quickly. dark

Milwaukee had a tough schedule to start the season but powered through it and now they’re in the midst of playing against worse teams. They just need to continue to find ways to win and they’ll be a team that nobody wants to see come October.

facebooktwitterreddit