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R/G: 4.06 (18th in MLB)
BA: .255 (10th in MLB)
OPS: .703 (17th in MLB)
For as much has been made about the return of Ryan Braun (.788 OPS, 3 HR, 10 RBI), the bigger addition to the Brewers lineup this season has been a healthy Aramis Ramirez (.369 BA, .880 OPS, 14 RBI).
Those two, along with the duo of Carlos Gomez (.323 BA, .984 OPS) and Jonathan Lucroy (.321 BA, .879 OPS), give the team four impact bats to anchor the lineup.
Throw in complementary pieces like Khris Davis, Scooter Gennett and Mark Reynolds, and the offense looks vastly improved over last season's group. Remember, the Brewers led the National League in runs scored in 2012, and while they may not be quite that good again in 2014, they should be one of the better attacks in the league once again.
ERA: 2.73 (third in MLB)
SP ERA: 2.55 (fourth in MLB)
RP ERA: 3.16 (10th in MLB)
Call the Brewers' terrific starting pitching a surprise if you want, but I've had high hopes for them from the onset, placing them eighth in an Opening Day article ranking all 30 starting rotations.
The potential was there for the team to be very good from starters one through five; it was just a matter of guys pitching up to that potential, and they have done that so far.
Yovani Gallardo (2-0, 1.46 ERA) has once again looked like an ace in what is a contract year, while fellow veterans Kyle Lohse (2-1, 3.05 ERA), Matt Garza (0-2, 3.43 ERA) and Marco Estrada (1-1, 3.06 ERA) have been solid as well.
The X-factor here is Wily Peralta, who turned in a solid rookie season that went largely overlooked due to the tremendous field of NL rookie pitchers last year. He's 2-0 with a 1.96 ERA and 1.09 WHIP on the year so far, and he has a chance to be a breakout star in 2014.
Throw in a bullpen led by the foursome of Francisco Rodriguez (4-of-4 SV, 0.00 ERA), Brandon Kintzler (5 IP, 0.00 ERA), Will Smith (7 IP, 0.00 ERA) and Tyler Thornburg (2-0, 9.2 IP, 0.93 ERA), and this staff looks awfully good from top to bottom.
Fluke Rating: 1/5
Why not the Brewers? That's something that will likely be said a lot in the days and weeks ahead if this team keeps winning—and at this point there's no reason to think it won't.
The starting rotation has been great, and all five pitchers are capable of pitching right around their current level for the entire season.
Keeping the lineup healthy will be the biggest thing, but if the Brewers can avoid any major injuries, there is no reason their offense can't be above average as well.
It's going to be an uphill battle pushing their way into the NL playoff picture, but this team looks to be the real deal.