After making baseball’s post-season for four straight years, the Milwaukee Brewers were out of the playoff picture in 2022. Their 86-76 record last season was the most wins by a team that did not make the post-season.
So, what does the team need to do to get back to the post-season? Here’s a brief look at a few stats where the Brewers need to improve if they are to be a playoff contender in 2023.
Cut down on strikeouts, increase batting average
Batting strikeouts: The Brewers last season struck out 1,464 times. It was not only the third most in the National League but was the fourth most in all of baseball last year. The MLB average last season was 1,360 in 2022. The team had 3.7 at bats for every strikeout in 2022; that ranked tied for 25th in baseball. The 1,464 strikeouts in 2022 was just one more than the 1,465 strikeouts they had as a team in 2021. Seven Brewers struck out 100 or more times last season… that was tied for third most players of any team in 2022 (the Angels and Braves had eight players; the Yankees also had seven players with 100+ strikeouts).
Batting Average: The Brewers .235 bating average in 2022 was tied for the fifth worst in team history. That average ranked 10th of the 15 N.L. clubs and was tied for 23rd among all MLB teams. The MLB average last season was .243. The Brewers had only three players who ended the season with batting averages above .250: Hunter Renfroe (.255), Christian Yelich (.252) and Kolten Wong (.251). Two of those three players are gone via trade. The team’s two biggest power guys, Willy Adames, and Rowdy Tellez, added .238 and .219 averages to the mix.
Decrease home runs allowed and blown saves
Home Runs allowed: The Brewers pitching staff allowed 190 opponent home runs, sixth most in baseball last season. The MLB average was 174 per team. Their 1.18 home runs allowed per nine innings was the second highest for the team since 2010; the 190 HRs allowed was eighth most in team history. Four of the Brewers starters surrendered 15 or more HRs in 2022: Eric Lauer (27), Corbin Burnes (23), Brandon Woodruff (18) and Aaron Ashby (15). That tied for 5th in baseball for most pitchers on a team that allowed 15+ home runs.
Blown Saves: The team tied for second in baseball last year with 31 blown saves and over the past two seasons their 60 blown saves is the most in the majors. Several off-season moves seem to have been made to address this issue as two bullpen arms with the most blown saves over the past two years are gone: Brad Boxberger and Brent Suter. In fact, pitchers accounting for 42 of the 60 blown saves over the past two seasons are no longer on the Brewers staff. An interesting stat is that in the Craig Counsell era (since 2016), the Brewers have the most saves with 309, and they have the second-most blown saves with 168.
More wins for the boys in the summer; winning record versus Cubs
Hot summer months: Last season the Brewers played two of the six months of the season under .500. In June and August, Milwaukee was 12-15 (.444 winning percentage each month). On June 1, 2022, the Brewers were 32-18 (.640) and had a four-game lead in the N.L. Central. On September 1, 2022, the team was 69-60 (.535) and was six games back of the Cardinals in the N.L. Central.
Losing records against an opponent: The Brewers had a losing record against nine of the 20 teams they played in 2022: Diamondbacks (3-4), Cubs (9-10), Dodgers (3-4), Marlins (3-4) Mets (2-4), Phillies (2-4), Padres (3-4), Giants (3-4) and Cardinals (9-10). The Brewers were 15-5 against American league teams last season and 13-6 versus the Cincinnati Reds in 2022. That means they were a +17 against the A.L. teams and Reds, and a -7 against all other teams.
For More Great Wisconsin Sports Content