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Views: 2738
Posted by Drew Martin
Replies: 0

Another Reason the Brewers Sit in First Place

Give this to the Brewers as much as everyone still expects them to fade, they havent faded yet. Theyve played at least .500 baseball in April, May, and June, and theyve held at least a share of first place in the National League Central for more than a month. Sure, the Cubs remain the favorites. Sure, the Cubs are the more talented ballclub. But the Brewers have effectively cut the season in half, which does wonders for both the odds and morale. The first-half Brewers have been a great story.

Anderson is throwing harder because he put on 10 pounds of muscle over the off-season with dedicated workouts in his hometown of McKinney, Texas, at Michael Johnson Performance, operated by the former Olympic gold-medal sprinter.

Im stronger this year, he said. Ive been able to maintain my velocity and not dip into the 80s (later in the game). To be able to throw it past guys is nice, too.
A team doesnt overachieve without players doing the same, and weve dedicated posts to several of Milwaukees pleasant surprises. We spent the whole first month writing about Eric Thames, and weve also addressed Jimmy Nelson, Corey Knebel, and so on. Theres another player Ive been intending to write about, too. The Brewers rank eighth in baseball in starting-rotation WAR, and Nelsons the leader of the group. And yet he is only barely holding off Chase Anderson.

Andersons a player I was interested in before, prior to an underwhelming 2016. As a bounceback starter, Andersons done plenty to get back on the radar, and I hope youre prepared, because this post is going to be fairly heavy on the images. To start right off, this plot shows changes in plate-discipline statistics for starting pitchers over the past two years. I considered starters with at least 50 innings in each season. On the x-axis, you see changes in the out-of-zone swing rate. On the y-axis, changes in the in-zone swing rate. As weve gone over before, ideally, a pitcher would get more out-of-zone swings while still suppressing swings at would-be strikes. t-in-first-place/

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