Spring Training Game Preview and Thread #-11: Brewers (8-12) v Rangers (5-10)

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Can the Brewers beat half of one of the Cactus League's worst teams?

The Brewers haven't won often lately, but today they get to play half the Rangers. Texas is 5-10 on the spring, and most of their regulars are likely staying home to take on the Cubs tonight.

As such, you have to like the Brewers' chances of winning with Marco Estrada (3.86 ERA this spring, 3.87/3.86 ERA/FIP in 2013) on the mound. Estrada had the best outing of any Brewer this spring in his last start on Thursday, pitching 5.2 scoreless innings against San Diego. He gave up five hits in that game but did not walk a batter and recorded three strikeouts.

Estrada issued two walks in his Cactus League debut in February, but has not issued a free pass in his three appearances in March. Yesterday I mentioned roughly the same thing about Kyle Lohse, and a few hours later he walked the ballpark.

Estrada faced the Rangers on August 13 of last season and held them to a run on four hits over six innings. No current Rangers have faced him ten times or more, but Geovany Soto and Mitch Moreland have each homered off of him.

He'll face 22-year-old lefty Martin Perez (4.50 ERA this spring, 3.62/4.23 ERA/FIP in 2013) in his fourth start of the spring. Perez started 20 games for the Rangers as a 21-year-old in 2013 and posted a 3.62 ERA, finishing sixth in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. He pitched three innings against the Giants on Thursday and allowed a run on three hits and two walks.

For a relatively young pitcher, Perez has a very well-developed changeup. He throws it almost 25 percent of the time to keep hitters from sitting on his low-to-mid 90's fastball.

Perez has never faced the Brewers during the regular season, and no current Brewers have faced him before.

As of this writing I haven't seen today's Brewers lineup. If you have, please drop it in the comments.

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