Today's matchup: Brewers (Marcum) vs. Rays (Price)

The Brewers have only won four of their last six games, BUT they have only lost two series at home this season. Which trend will prevail this afternoon?

We'll all watch cautiously as Shaun Marcum (7-2, 2.85 ERA, 3.05 FIP) takes the mound for the first time since suffering a strained hip flexor his one inning start last Friday in Boston. I may be the only one who is equal parts concerned about Marcum as I am impressed that he only allowed 2 ER in that one inning in Boston, despite throwing 44 pitches. Marcum was just cleared to pitch last night, and Ron Roenicke says that they will go "inning by inning" after the third with Marcum today. His last outing was only the second time this season that Marcum has failed to pitch at least 6 innings; the other such start was his first start of the season.

I was a little surprised that Shaun Marcum has only 48.1 career innings against the Rays. In those 48.1 innings (7 starts) Marcum is 2-2 with a 3.17 ERA. Five Rays have faced Marcum at least 10 times.

PA slash line
Johnny Damon 23 .263/.391/.263
BJ Upton 23 .300/.391/.400
Evan Longoria 16 .357/.438/.500
Sean Rodriguez 14 .538/.571/1.154
Ben Zobrist 11 .500/.545/.700

The Crew will have the pleasure of facing David Price (7-6, 3.61 ERA, 3.00 FIP) this afternoon. Much like Marcum, the lefty Price is also coming off a below-average start against the Red Sox, in which he allowed 3 ER over 5 innings on 5 H and 5 BB. Price finished second in the Cy Young voting last year, and even though his ERA is a good run above what it was last year, he's been even more dominant this year. He' s allowing more hits this year (8.0/9, up from 7.3 last year), but he's really cut down on his walks (1.8/9, down from 3.4 last year). His K/9 is also up just slightly this year. Strangly enough, even with the slightly inflated ERA, Price is getting a little lucky this year, with a .285 BABIP.

Price has never faced Milwaukee, and only three current Brewers, Yuni B, Mark Kotsay, and Carlos Gomez have ever faced him. Of those three Yuni has seen him the most, with 5 AB against. Not surprisingly, none them have ever collected a hit against Price.

Today's lineup

Rickie Weeks   2B
Corey Hart   RF
Ryan Braun   LF
Prince Fielder   1B
Casey McGehee   3B
Yuniesky Betancourt   SS
Carlos Gomez   CF
Jonathan Lucroy   C
Shaun Marcum   RHP

In the bullpen...
Kameron Loe pitched 1 inning (14 pitches) last night.
John Axford pitched 1 inning (11 pitches) last night.
Tim Dillard pitched .1 inning (15 pitches) Monday.
Mark DiFelice pitched 1 inning (25 pitches) Monday.
LaTroy Hawkins pitched 1 inning (14 pitches) Monday.
Sergio Mitre pitched 3 innings (48 pitches) Sunday.
Marco Estrada pitched 4 innings (66 pitches) Friday.

Game coverage notice:
For some reason, today's game is not on TV, so we're going to have to rely Uecker for coverage of today's game. Or hope that MLBNetwork shows some of it.

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