Milwaukee’s bashers are leading the Brewers to the top of the Central
Entering MLB play on June 10th, the Milwaukee Brewers boasted the highest amount of home runs hit in the National League with 114, which puts them in first in the NL, ahead by 12 over their divisional counterparts, the Chicago Cubs. 114 leaves them in third place in all of the MLB, slotting in behind second-place Minnesota with 125 and the clubhouse leaders, the Seattle Mariners, with 126.
Leading the charge for the Brewers is last year’s MVP and a front runner this year, Christian Yelich, and newfound utilityman Mike Moustakas. Combined, the two have hit 44 dingers, led by Yelich’s 24 long balls.
For a team that has commonly relied on their offensive stature to win games, their 10 games above .500 should scare the rest of the league, especially with how this team responded after going through the season’s toughest stretch in terms of opponents faced. Led by both Yelich and the Moose, Milwaukee is looking to be just as deadly, if not deadlier, in its quest to win the NL Central for the second year in a row.
Yelich is now a slugger
Before coming to the Brewers, Yelich was known more for being a solid outfielder who could rotate between all three spots, although he mainly played the corners. Offensively, Marlins Park was not ideal for the type of hitter that he was in terms of power, but hitting for average became his forte as a member of the fish.
Now in Milwaukee, Yelich has absolutely dominated the park, using the short right field porch to his favor to blast home runs. Even when he does not use right field, his straight-on power approach has added more dents in the scoreboard, which really has not been done since the years of Prince Fielder and his exquisite mashing.
Having hit more home runs in a Brewers uniform (60) in around one and a half seasons compared to the five seasons he spent in the state of Florida (59), the label for Yelich can be shifted from solid outfielder to perennial MVP candidate, provided he keeps up with the pace he is currently playing at.
Absolutely exceeding any expectations the Brewers could have had for Yelich when they acquired him, Yelich has become exactly what the Brewers needed: a controllable stud out to murder baseballs.
Moustakas loves the NL
Having only played on the Kansas City Royals until being acquired by the Brewers around last year’s trade deadline, the Moose has made Milwaukee his new home. Having struggled a bit at the plate last year due to changing scenery and being thrown directly into a playoff race, Moustakas seems to be thriving this season.
Only on a one year deal this year, the Moose seems to be making hitting a baseball look absolutely easy nowadays. Sitting third in the NL in home runs, tied with Cody Bellinger, Moustakas is on pace to shatter his old career record of home runs in a season, with was 38 set back in 2017, which was the final full season in a Royals uniform.
While his future prospects in Milwaukee may look a bit bleak with the brief emergence of heralded top prospect Keston Hiura, the Moose calls will reign out in Miller Park for as long as he is here. By having positional flexibility and getting the Moose out in the field at either second or third base, manager Craig Counsell is able to maintain a more flexible team in that regard, which helps keep the best players on the field while giving his bench a bit more flexibility too.
Locked into yet another heated divisional battle with their closest southern rival, both Milwaukee and the Cubbies have the pieces to make this a race that goes down to the wire yet again, as 162 games just were not enough to settle things in 2018. Needing that tie breaker down in Wrigley was enough of a jumpstart for the Brewers, especially with having celebrated in their most hated rival’s clubhouse, the sweetest of sweet tastes of victory.
Riding on the backs of both Yelich and Moustakas this year have given the Brewers yet another legitimate shot at making noise in the playoffs, and their revenge tour after missing the World Series by one game looks to be right on track.