Fatal flaw: Every MLB contender has a weak spot

Jun 13, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) reacts as he talks to New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) on the mound during the seventh inning against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 13, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) reacts as he talks to New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) on the mound during the seventh inning against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
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Brewers first baseman Keston Hiura. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Brewers first baseman Keston Hiura. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers ride the wave in the NL Central largely due to a superb pitching staff. With starters Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, and Freddy Peralta and relievers Josh Hader and Devin Williams, Brewers pitchers as a staff lead MLB in WAA at +7.4.

The offense is another circumstance entirely, and at no position is the problem more acute than at a primary power position, first base.

Keston Hiura, the regular, is hitting .168 and has bounced between the majors and minors.  Daniel Vogelbach is batting .216. Between them Hiura and Vogelbach have produced just 11 home run with 34 RBIs. Combined, they have become a potentially fatal flaw.

Milwaukee is also fighting a severe under-production at a second usual power spot, third base. There, Travis Shaw was hitting just .191 when he went on the injured list. His primary replacement, Luis Urias, is better, but at .236 isn’t providing the kind of offense teams expect at the corner infield spots.

The data underscores Milwaukee’s problem. Brewers’ first basemen as a group have generated -2.0 WAA, the second worst contribution to victory of any MLB team’s first basemen. Brewers’ third basemen, meanwhile, score -1.2, and rank 25th among the 30 MLB teams.

The bottom line is this: Brewers pitchers are great, but they’re likely to need some assistance from the offense if the Brewers are to advance through the postseason.