The Brewers have a surplus amount of infielders, but it may be exactly what they need. They have seven guys who get regular time in the infield, plus Ryan Braun who adds an an additional glove at first base. With having that amount, the Brewers are able to create a lineup everyday that has the best potential to win. They are able to create matchups based on who is pitching against them as well as who is pitching for them.
Basic Righty/Lefty Matchup
The Brewers are lucky to have a good spread of lefties and righties in the infield. With having three lefties and four righties the Brewers are allowed to play with this matchup daily.
Batters vs LHP
|Position(s)||Player||L or R||OBP||BA||HR|
1B- Jesus Aguilar, 2B- Jonathan Schoop, SS- Hernan Perez, 3B- Mike Moustakas
It is known that usually left handed hitters have more of a disadvantage against left handed pitchers. Therefore, to start at first base it only makes sense to have Aguilar over Thames. As much as there are lefties out there who are very good against lefty pitchers, Aguilar’s numbers are a lot better. As for 2B, Jonathan Schoop makes sense with being a right handed batter and have decent success against lefties. The SS position will get a little more difficult, but for now Hernan Perez has put up the best numbers. Lastly there is 3B, it really can be a toss up between Travis Shaw and Mike Moustakas. I like Moustakas a little better from the power aspect.
Batters vs RHP
|Position(s)||Player||L or R||OBP||BA||HR|
1B- Jesus Aguilar, 2B- Travis Shaw, SS- Jonathan Schoop, 3B- Mike Moustakas
Building matchups while facing a RHP for the most part is a little easier. You can build it around who is hitting best at the time. Right now, 1B Jesus Aguilar has been a huge weapon for the Brewers and is going to stay in the lineup as much as possible. Travis Shaw at 2B is still quite new to him, but allows the Brewers to do so much more. That allows you to put Hernan Perez at SS and Mike Moustakas at 3B. This infield is one that no one expected to be seeing in the beginning of the year, but it’s an infield that should produce runs.
When Wade Miley or Jhoulys Chacin are on the mound
It may seem a little bizarre that the guys who get put out on the field are dependent on the pitcher on the mound for them. This factor for the Brewers can make a huge difference. Both Jhoulys Chacin and Wade Miley have very high ground ball percentages (GB%) and those ground balls are usually the majority of their outs (Miley-52.5% Chacin- 43.2%). Having a tighter defense on the field with pitchers with high GB% can save quite a few baserunners and runs overall.
1B- Jesus Aguilar, 2B- Jonathan Schoop/Hernan Perez, SS- Orlando Arcia, 3B- Travis Shaw/Mike Moustakas
With this lineup you are putting out not only really good defense but a good offense as well. Jesus Aguilar again is staying at 1B. He is a great defensive first baseman and his offense speaks for itself. At 2B is Jonathan Schoop or Hernan Perez depending on who is swinging the better bat. Travis Shaw is just too new at this point and with ground ball pitchers the double play will be very important. Not saying that Shaw is not capable, but it comes down to 2B is more “natural” to Schoop or Perez. Orlando Arcia is one of the best defensive SS in the league. Although his offense can lack, he has been better since his stint in AAA. With 3B you could really go either way, Travis Shaw and Mike Moustakas are both very good third baseman. At the end of the day who is playing can really depend on what pitcher they are facing. Wanting to put a more defensive lineup on the field, you are willing to give up some offensive production at different positions.
Quick outfield breakdown
On the Brewers 25-man roster right now they are only carrying four true outfielders. The way their roster is, there are more players who can take on an outfield position. For example, Eric Thames is a great option when wanting to give someone a day off or playing matchups. While facing a RHP, the outfield looks like this: LF- Christian Yelich, CF- Lorenzo Cain, RF- Eric Thames. When up against a LHP, the outfield switches a little bit: LF- Ryan Braun, CF- Lorenzo Cain, RF- Christian Yelich. With Eric Thames being a leftie, he is a great option against a RHP. Against a LHP, he dips quite a bit. Having Eric Thames as an option for the outfield, not only do you add a very good bat in the lineup, you are able to give Ryan Braun the off days he needs. Since giving Braun the days off he needs he has been healthier and it for sure shows on the field.
Obviously these lineups can vary depending off days, but for the most part this is how it is potentially going to look the rest of the season. The Brewers have put together an impressive roster allowing them to play with matchups. That is due to having versatile players. Not only does it give you the option to put the best players out on the field, but you have bench options for later in the game. The lineup this year has been different day to day, but when digging into why it does, it makes so much sense.