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Julio Urias, MLB Postseason

MLB Postseason: National League Division Series preview

  • Manuel Gómez - East Coast Contributor & Podcast Director Manuel Gómez, East Coast Contributor & Podcast Director
  • October 8, 2021

An in-depth look at the upcoming National League Division Series.

With the MLB Postseason already underway, today the National League’s Final Four are set to start the Division Series. The Atlanta Braves will take on the Milwaukee Brewers while the Los Angeles Dodgers travel to rival San Francisco to play the Giants.

MLB Postseason, American League Division Series, National League Division Series, ALDS, NLDS
2021 MLB Postseason

Throughout the Postseason, Our Esquina will provide you with everything you need to know before each series. Today, we take a deep dive into the two NL Division Series.

We begin with the Brewers vs. the Braves.

HITTING

Milwaukee’s 91 wRC+ is the lowest ranked of all the teams currently in the postseason. Only Willy Adames, traded midseason to the Brewers from the Rays, appears in the top 50 list for wRC+. His 119 wRC+ ranks 35 in MLB.

One thing to watch for with the Brewers is their plate discipline. Their 9.6 BB% is the fourth highest in all of baseball. Pair this with their competency on the base paths, and you have a recipe for disaster for the opponents.

On the other hand, the team strikes out quite a bit. Their 24 K% is the 8th highest in the game, just slightly better than the lowly Baltimore Orioles (24.3 K%).


Offensively, Atlanta pairs up quite well with the brewers. While the Brewers have the lowest wRC+ of any team in the postseason, the Braves’ 98 wRC+ is the second lowest.

Where the teams differ is in their plate discipline. Like the Brewers, the Braves strike out 24% of the time. What’s worse, they don’t take as many walks as Milwaukee. Their 9.1 BB% ranks 10th in MLB.

Atlanta is also not as aggressive or as competent on the base paths as Milwaukee. The Braves’ 5.4 BsR ranks 12th, and their 59 SB ranks 21st in all of baseball. Of the teams remaining in the postseason, only the Astros and the Giants are worse in the area of baserunning.

PITCHING

Where Milwaukee really shines is in pitching. Featuring a rotation with the likes of NL Cy Young favorite Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, and Freddy Peralta, the Brew Crew will be a force in the postseason.

Here’s how the team fares statistically. Their 23.5 fWAR and 3.50 ERA both rank 3rd in all of baseball. Also, they feature the second best K/9 and the fourth best HR/9.

They walk a lot of batters. Their 3.37 BB/9 is ranked 14th, which is middle-of-the-road for an MLB team, but the worst of any team in the postseason. Fortunately for them, when runners get on, the pitching staff is elite at keeping them there. Their 74.7 LOB% is 5th best in baseball.


Atlanta’s most glaring weakness is in pitching. The only MLB postseason team that might be worse is the Boston Red Sox.

Here’s how the Braves look statistically. Their 15.9 fWAR ranks 12th in MLB. Though their 3.89 team ERA is decent, it pales in comparison to every National League team.

Atlanta’s 3.29 BB/9 and 9.04 K/9 each rank 14th MLB. So, they put far too many runners on and do not strike out as many batters. Fortunately, the team does an OK job preventing runs from scoring. Their 74.4 LOB% is the 6th best in baseball. This too, however, is worse than every team in the National League.

Conclusion: Brewers win in four!

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