A late-season skid when they had already secured their place in the 2021 playoffs prevented the Milwaukee Brewers from having a shot at 100 victories.
They lost their last four games, and had to play several contests with the red-hot St. Louis Cardinals as they streaked to take the second Wild Card.
But make no mistake: the 2021 Brewers are very likely a true-talent 100-win team.
They won 95 and lost 67, though, so they were still very, very good: even better than anticipated.
They will start their journey in the playoffs on Friday against the Atlanta Braves.
The Braves won the National League East division and may have a deceptive record.
Yes, they were the weakest division leader with an 88-73 mark, but they have a formidable offense even without Ronald Acuna Jr.
A Collective Juggernaut
But the Brewers’ pitching is equipped for the challenge, and the unit actually makes them the favorites to advance in the best-of-five series.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants have perhaps the best pitching staffs in the league.
Nobody is actually close in terms of talent, depth, and numbers except two teams: the Tampa Bay Rays and the Brewers.
Milwaukee was third in the league with 3.8 runs allowed per game.
Additionally, their 7.1 hits allowed was the second-fewest in MLB.
As a result, the Brewers’ pitchers had a .218 batting average against, the second-lowest in the whole league.
Their 3.50 ERA ranked third, and their 1.17 WHIP was fourth among all pitching staffs.
Not only did the Brewers limit runs as a group, but they also missed a lot of bats: their 10.14 K/9 (strikeouts per nine innings) was second in MLB.
As you can see, this is an elite staff, one that is ready to take on the Braves or any other team in the circuit.
The Names Behind The Machine
Everything starts with the rotation.
Corbin Burnes, the Game 1 starter, is a legitimate Cy Young candidate.
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) October 6, 2021
He ranked first in Wins Above Replacement (WAR) with 7.5, ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies’ Zack Wheeler.
Burnes had a fantastic 2.43 ERA in 167 frames.
Both of them would be aces on just about any other team, but they are second and third options in Milwaukee.
They are an amazing trio.
As a fourth option, the Brewers have Eric Lauer (3.19 ERA in 118.2 innings), a pitcher who had a 1.78 ERA over his last 14 outings.
The bullpen is rich and deep in quality options.
Devin Williams won’t be available after he punched a wall and fractured his hand while the team celebrated its postseason berth, but that doesn’t mean the unit isn’t elite anyway.
Josh Hader (1.23 ERA, 45.5 strikeout percentage) was perhaps the majors’ best closer.
— Bally Sports Wisconsin (@BallySportWI) October 7, 2021
Overall, the Brewers’ staff looks great for the first playoff series.