Milwaukee Brewers sport best defense in MLB

Arcia grades as top shortstop in baseball

The Milwaukee Brewers have the best defense in MLB, according to Fangraphs.com's metric Defensive Runs Saved.

Basically, DRS rates how above or below average a team or player is on defense. 

Fangraphs calculates the Brewers to have saved 33 runs this year, 7 more than the second place Diamondbacks. Only three MLB teams, the Brewers, D'Backs and Padres have saved more than 14 runs. 

Brewers fans can thank a trio of players for the club's success, Orlando Arcia, Travis Shaw and Lorenzo Cain. 

Arcia—regardless of the metric used or the website that calculates it—has been elite at shortstop. 

Fangraphs calculates he's saved 8 runs, first among all MLB shortstops—right above Francisco Lindor—and just behind former Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez as the top-rated defensive player in all of baseball.

Baseball Prospectus, an analytics website founded by Five Thirty Eight's Nate Silver, ranks Arcia as 4.6 Runs Above Average, 11th best in baseball and second best among all shortstops--behind Houston's Carlos Correa. 

As for the rest of the team, Shaw has saved 6 runs, the highest total among MLB third basemen and ninth best in overall. Cain has saved 5 runs, fifth among center fielders and 22nd overall and Domingo Santana has saved 5 runs, sixth among right fielders and 26th overall.

The defense is a big reason the Brewers currently sit 26-18, tied for first in the NL central with the surprising Pittsburgh Pirates, especially considering their struggles with starting pitching. 

Milwaukee currently ranks 21st in Fielding Independent Pitching among starting pitchers, with a FIP of 4.65. The metric eliminates fielding from the equation and grades pitchers strictly on their run prevention ability. 

They are the only team with 25 or more wins and a FIP of 4.65 or over.

Another aiding factor in the Brewers success has been their bullpen. The group has been the second best in MLB, with an ERA of 2.60 and fifth best in terms of FIP with 3.30. 

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