Today's Matchup: Brewers (Estrada) vs Dodgers (Kershaw)

I know on first glance this looks like a mismatchup. Heck, last night looked like a mismatchup but Nathan Eovaldi held his own against the Brewers despite the loss. Marco Estrada (4.46 ERA, 3.67 FIP) makes his sixth start of the year and second since his return to the rotation. Looking at the PitchF/X data of Estrada's last start, the worrisome thing is just how many of his pitches last week were out of the strike zone.

LHP Clayton Kershaw (2.72 ERA, 2.59 FIP) has been one of the best pitchers in the National League since 2009, his first full season in the majors. Kershaw strikes out about 28% of the batters he faces and walks nearly 7% of them. He's that good. He primarily deploys a fastball averaging about 93 mph. His secondary pitch is a slider. He's thrown that slider about 23% of the time in 2011.

Did you know that the Brewers have used only 6 starting pitchers this season? Last season, the world champion Giants used only 7. Healthy pitching and reliability of the rotation are the strengths of both those teams.

Unsurprising lineup:

Corey Hart RF
Jerry Hairston CF
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Casey McGehee 3B
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Jonathan Lucroy C
Josh Wilson 2B
Marco Estrada P

Bullpen usage:

John Axford pitched 1 inning (20 pitches) last night.
LaTroy Hawkins pitched 1 inning (18 pitches) last night.
Takashi Saito pitched 1 inning (10 pitches) Tuesday.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched 1 inning (14 pitches) Saturday.
Kameron Loe pitched 1 inning (14 pitches) Friday.
Frankie de la Cruz and Tim Dillard last pitched on Thursday. Hmm, maybe they're being saved for something?...well, perhaps de la Cruz or Loe. We know about Dillard.

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