July 25, 2021

OOTP Brewers: Taking Stock | FanGraphs Baseball (FanGraphs)

Sometimes the math just works out perfectly. Coming into today, our fictional OOTP Brewers have played exactly one third of their season. At 32-22, we’re atop the NL Central by four games, an outcome I would have happily accepted before the season started. Let’s take a look at how we got here before considering our next steps.

First, let’s talk NL Central. The division isn’t the four-way race that many pundits expected before the year began. In fact, the Cardinals have faded more or less completely out of contention:

NL Central Standings

Team W L GB RDiff
Brewers 32 22 3
Cubs 28 26 4 14
Pirates 26 27 5.5 34
Reds 25 28 6.5 -22
Cardinals 21 34 11.5 -48

The true surprise in the division is the Pirates. Keyed by Chris Archer and Joe Musgrove, they’ve allowed the fourth-fewest runs against in the league. On the offensive side, Josh Bell is having a solid year; his 128 wRC+ and 17 home runs pace the team. But despite the hot start, problem spots remain: the team is 11th in the NL in overall wOBA, as well as 11th in FIP. It isn’t hard to imagine the run-scoring numbers moving down to match the peripherals, which would leave the Pirates on the…

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