Tonight's Matchup: Brewers (Lohse) v Rangers (Holland)


Can the Brewers wrap up their homestand with a victory?

The Brewers' longest winning streak of the season to this point is nine games, set from April 14-23. Aside from that, they've only won back-to-back games one time all year.

They'll get another chance to do it tonight with Kyle Lohse (3.16/3.35 ERA/FIP) on the mound trying to complete a two-game sweep of the Rangers. Lohse is looking to bounce back from a rough outing on Friday, when he allowed four runs on eleven hits over five innings against the Cardinals.

Despite the fact that Lohse's numbers have been pretty good in 2013, there's some cause for concern in his peripherals. Around 26% of the balls put in play against him this year have been line drives, easily the highest rate of his career. Just 38% of the balls in play against him have been hit on the ground, which is also his lowest rate in quite some time.

Lohse has faced the Rangers 12 times in his career but hasn't seen them in a regular season game since 2006. Four current Rangers have faced him ten times or more:

Lance Berkman 37 .290 .405 .742 1.147
Geovany Soto 19 .333 .368 .500 .868
A.J. Pierzynski 12 .200 .333 .200 .533
Adrian Beltre 11 .273 .273 .545 .818

He'll face 26-year-old lefty Derek Holland (2.74/2.58 ERA/FIP), who is coming off a very good start. Holland pitched eight shutout innings against the Red Sox on Friday, allowing six hits and a walk while striking out nine. He has 37 strikeouts compared to just ten walks over 42.2 innings this season, and his 6.3 hits allowed per nine innings are the sixth best mark in the American League.

Statistics would suggest that there's been some luck involved in Holand's hot start. Opposing batters are hitting just .241 on balls in play against him in 2013 compared to .290 for his career, and he's allowing just .4 home runs per nine innings after giving up four times as many a year ago. He'll throw a low-to-mid 90's fastball with a slider and changeup. Interestingly enough, Baseball Reference lists Kyle Lohse as one of Holland's top statistical comps through the end of their age 25 seasons.

Holland has never faced the Brewers during the regular season, and no current Brewer has faced him ten times or more.

As of this writing tonight's lineup has not been released. If you've seen it, please drop it in the comments.

Meanwhile, in the bullpen:

It's a beautiful day in Milwaukee today and that should carry into the night, with a game-time temperature around 65 and no precipitation in the forecast. There would be no point in having a retractable roof if you're not going to open it on a night like this.

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