Brewers: How the Diamondbacks Lineup Has Fared Against Corbin Burnes

How should Burnes attack this young group of hitters?
Washington Nationals v Milwaukee Brewers
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CF Alek Thomas

While Alek Thomas hasn't had a history of career success in MLB at the age of 23, he does have a good history against Burnes. While Thomas has a career .230/.274/.633 line in Arizona, he is 3 for 8 with a home run in a small sample size against Burnes.

A big reason for Burnes' struggle against Thomas is his success hitting the cutter. Thomas is hitting .313 with a .719 SLG against this pitch over his career, and his home run against Burnes came on this pitch. Thomas struggles heavily against curveballs, changeups, and sinkers, striking out over 20% of the time and having under a .180 batting average against these pitches, including a .130 against curveballs. To have success against Thomas, Burnes will have to lean on his secondary pitches.

DH Lourdes Gurriel Jr.:

The Diamondbacks acquired Lourdes Gurriel Jr. as the secondary piece in one of the biggest trades of the 2023 offseason, sending Daulton Varsho to Toronto in order to clear up some of their outfield logjam. Gurriel had a great first half of 2023, leading to his final stat line ending at .261/.309/.463 with a .772 OPS. Gurriel hasn't seen Burnes much in his career, with most of it coming in Toronto, but has had success in a small sample size. Gurriel has a .400/.500/.600 slash in five at-bats against Corbin Burnes, with a double, a strikeout, and a hit by pitch.

While the matchup numbers are a bit concerning, I think Burnes still has the matchup in his favor due to Gurriel's struggles with Burnes' top pitches. Gurriel has a .179 batting average against cutters in 2023, and if Burnes has the command of his cutter tonight, he should win this matchup based off of that. Gurriel also has issues with the slider, striking out 22.2% of the time against this pitch.

C Gabriel Moreno:

The biggest piece in the aforementioned Varsho trade that came over to Arizona was former top prospect, Gabriel Moreno. Moreno has been a sparkplug in the games that he has played for Arizona, as the Diamondbacks had a winning percentage jump by over 300 points in games he has played this season. Moreno also comes into this series swinging a very hot bat, with a .884 OPS in his last 30 games and has put up 4.3 bWAR this season.

Burnes has had Moreno's number in nine at-bats, holding him to two singles and striking him out three times, while holding him to a .444 OPS. Moreno has hit Burnes' primary pitches pretty well this season, with a .280 batting average against cutters, a .276 against curveballs, and a .324 against changeups, but he has one big hole in his swing, which is his whiff rate against these cutters. Moreno whiffs 34% of the time against cutters and strikes out 35.7% of the time, which should be a great thing for Burnes' success against him.

3B Jace Peterson:

In a depth trade with the Oakland Athletics at the 2023 trade deadline, the Diamondbacks brought over former Brewer Jace Peterson to play a utility role for their club. He's struggled to get his bat going since coming to Arizona, hitting only .183 with a .534 OPS with the Diamondbacks. Due to Peterson playing in Milwaukee for most of Corbin Burnes' time in the majors, he has never seen him in a major league game.

While there is no head-to-head record between these two, Peterson is a very good cutter hitter, putting up a .320 batting average on those pitches this season. Burnes will likely stay away from this pitch against Peterson and defer to his offspeed stuff, as Peterson has not had success against the offspeed that Burnes brings to the table in 2023. Peterson has a whiff percentage over 31% on all three of the offspeed pitches that Corbin utilizes, striking out 36% of the time against the slider and 28.9% of the time against the curveball. While Burnes doesn't have any history against Jace Peterson, he has the tools to get him out.

SS Geraldo Perdomo:

After having one of the most surprising first halves in all of baseball, including a trip to the 2023 All-Star Game in Seattle, Geraldo Perdomo has cooled down a bit and regressed to a below-average hitter. Perdomo is sitting .246/.353/.359 for a .712 OPS with six home runs. Perdomo is one of the three hitters for Arizona who has an extra-base hit against Burnes, collecting a double and a single in seven at-bats against Corbin.

He has been susceptible to the strikeout against Burnes, striking out twice, but still has a good overall performance in these at-bats, with a .804 OPS. Perdomo's success against cutters has a lot to do with this, as he was a .361 hitter against these pitches in 2023. The slider-curveball combo will be big for Burnes to get Perdomo out, as he strikes out almost 40% of the time against both of these pitches and has xBA's of .159 and .162, respectively.