19-7. Best record in baseball. Largest division lead in baseball at 5.5 games. No I’m not talking about the Dodgers, Yankees, or Cardinals. The Milwaukee Brewers have dominated April and sit atop the National League Central division as baseball’s best team. Nobody predicted this. How are they doing this? The name of the game is PITCHING. Here are the key stats showing how the Brew-Crew rank compared to the other 29 teams:
Team ERA #2: 2.56
Quality Starts #1: 21 in 26 games
Strikeouts #6: 230
Walks Allowed #2: 62
Batting Average Against #3: .217
Francisco Rodriguez: 12 saves, ERA 0.00
Ryan Braun: .318, 6 HR, 18 RBI
Sure the Brewers entered the season with some talent on the roster. Carlos Gomez, Jean Segura, and Jonathan Lucroy had breakout seasons in 2013 and youngsters Scooter Gennett, Wily Peralta, Khris Davis, and Tyler Thornburg showed their potential. However, there was just as many negatives and question marks heading into this season as there were positives. Ryan Braun was coming back from his PED suspension- could he still be an annual MVP candidate? Cleanup hitter Aramis Ramirez has always hit well when healthy but he missed 70 games in 2013- does he still have a healthy season left at age 35? Supposed ace Yovani Gallardo had the worst season of his career in 2013, which coincided with a major drop in velocity- was this just a fluke season?
The answers to all these questions have been a resounding YES. The Brewers seem to have some magic in 2014. Their pitching has clearly carried them but their offense is certainly no pushover. If Jean Segura can break out of his early season slump and be the exciting table-setting leadoff hitter that he was for the majority of 2013, the Brewers would just add another weapon to their repertoire. Although K-Rod will most likely give up a run at some point this season, their bullpen is still very solid overall. Look for the Brewers to hang around the playoff race all season due to them being a complete team with contributions from the entire 25-man roster.