Today's Matchup: Brewers (Peralta) v Cubs (Garza)

Mike McGinnis

Fourth place is on the line in today's weekday matinee.

Today has the potential to be a good day. A win would clinch the Crew's second consecutive winning homestand.

With that on the line the Brewers will send talented but inconsistent righty Wily Peralta (5.59 ERA, 4.54 FIP) to the mound to face the Cubs. Peralta restored a little bit of confidence in his abilities on Friday when he pitched seven shutout innings against the Braves, holding them to two hits and four walks while striking out four.

Last week's start against the Braves was Peralta's fifth outing in June, and he has a 4.15 ERA in the month. If he can continue at that level he probably deserves an opportunity to remain in the rotation, but his strikeouts remain a concern. He's only punched out 15 batters while walking 12 in 30.1 innings this month.

Peralta has pitched well in a pair of outings against the Cubs this season, holding them to five runs (four earned) on eleven hits over 13.1 innings (a 2.70 ERA). No current Cubs have faced him ten times or more, and the collection of Chicago players that have seen him at all are batting .182/.250/.250 in 48 plate appearances against him.

He'll face veteran righty and potential trade candidate Matt Garza (4.25 ERA, 4.35 FIP), who is making just his eighth start after missing all of April and much of May with side and arm issues. Garza was excellent against the Astros on Friday, holding them to a single run on four hits over eight innings and striking out a season-high eight.

The biggest weakness in Garza's game may be the home run ball: He's allowing better than 1.25 homers per nine innings over the last two seasons, including five in four previous outings in June. He's also holding opposing batters to a .243 batting average on balls in play this season, a number that's probably not sustainable.

This will be the first time the Brewers have seen Garza in 2013. Two active Brewers have faced him ten times or more:

Yuniesky Betancourt 25 .240 .240 .280 .520
Rickie Weeks 20 .118 .250 .118 .368

Today's Brewer lineup features 100% less Yuni:

Rickie Weeks 2B
Norichika Aoki RF
Jean Segura SS
Aramis Ramirez 3B
Juan Francisco 1B
Logan Schafer CF
Martin Maldonado C
Caleb Gindl LF
Wily Peralta P

And in the bullpen:

The forecast calls for scattered thunderstorms again today, but at the moment the skies are clear. Expect a game time temperature around 83 at Miller Park under an open roof, with winds blowing out to left.

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