The Milwaukee Brewers are running away with the NL Central title with the second-largest lead in all of Major League Baseball. After being neck-and-neck with the Chicago Cubs for first place a couple of weeks ahead of the all-star break the Brewers have emerged as the better squad. A mid-season trade with the Tampa Bay Rays flipped the script for the Brew Crew and here is why.
Through May 21 the Milwaukee Brewers were standing at a 21-23 record to begin the season. At that point, Milwaukee scored the fifth-lowest runs, had the third-worst batting average, and the fourth-lowest hits in the MLB. A mediocre offensive left many Brewers games low scoring. An injury-riddled Christian Yelich and struggling Keston Hiura left the Brewers with only one decent slugger, that being Avisail Garcia. But it was not enough for the Brew Crew, so Milwaukee sent two pitchers to Tampa Bay in return for another pitcher and shortstop Willy Adames. At the time of the trade it was nothing major but as time went on Adames would become the backbone of the Brewers’ offense.
Since acquiring Willy Adames the Brew Crew have gone 35-and-18, since Adames’ arrival on May 22 the Brewers have won the most games in baseball. The Crew would go on to win 14 of the next 16 games after May 26, including an 11 game win streak since Adames. Since May 22, Adames leads the Brewers in runs, hits, RBI, batting average, extra base hits, slugging percentage, total bases, and is tied in home runs. As a Brewer, Adames’ has a .302 batting average with 58 hits, 11 homers, 38 RBIs, and 33 runs scored in 53 games.
Finally, after many ups and downs with back issues, the Brewers MVP Christian Yelich is getting back to normal. It took Yelich 15 games to get his first home run this season, since then he has hit five more homers. His numbers are lower than normal but he is still productive on defense, yet Yelich still serves as captain of the team.
The Brewers have a star-studded bullpen to back them up, with three pitchers from Milwaukee in the top 12 in strikeouts. Those pictures were elected as all-star pitchers, Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, and Freddy Peralta. As well as all-star Josh Hader, as he remains one of the most dominant closing pitchers in baseball.
Despite the Brewers battling injuries between Christian Yelich, Daniel Vogelbach, Lorenzo Cain, and more… Milwaukee still wins ball games. A true testament to how much depth this team truly has, Kolten Wong has been a stud for the Brews all season. All-star catcher Omar Narváez is likely the Brewers’ best two-way player and has remained consistent throughout the season. This is manager Craig Consell’s best team since 2018 that reached the NLCS and took the Dodgers to seven games. The Brewers are one of the clear favorites to take the National League this year if they keep it up!