Brewers vs Diamondbacks series preview

Joe Robbins

The Brewers return home this week after a tough end to a mostly decent road trip. Let's take a look at the kind of *ahem* challenge they face in the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Kirk Gibson really wants to have a one-on-one with Ryan Braun. Unfortunately for him Braun is on the DL so he'll have to "overcome cheaters" elsewhere. If I was Gibson I'd be more worried about my team having the worst record in baseball. The D-Backs' offense sits at a 83 wRC+ which ranks 27th in the MLB. They only have 4 active batters (Paul Goldschmidt, Miguel Montero, Chris Owings, and A.J. Pollock) with a wRC+ above 100, two of which are sitting at 104 (Pollock) and 109 (Owings), one of those (Pollock) is dealing with a groin strain.

Their pitching staff is kind of the inverse of the Reds. Their rotation has been awful, ranking 29th with 5.73! ERA and 4.54 FIP, which is good for 0.6 fWAR. Francisco Rodriguez (0.8 fWAR) has been more valuable than the entire D-Backs rotation. Their bullpen, however, has been perfectly serviceable. It ranks 12th in fWAR with a 3.68 ERA/3.25 FIP, and it's 25.4 K% ranks 5th best. Unsurprisingly this bullpen has seen the most innings (115 IP) in baseball.

Monday, May 5th 7:10 pm: Matt Garza vs Mike Bolsinger

Who? He's a rookie who I assume is seeing time because Patrick Corbin is on the DL and Kevin Towers thought it'd be cool to trade away most of his top pitching depth in the minors. His results have been mixed to say the least. He has a 5.79 ERA but his 3.29 FIP reflect his solid 21.4 K% and 5.6 BB%. He's only made 3 starts so it's probably too soon to make any real judgments based on his statistics. I find it kind of odd that he basically only throws fastballs (that sit in the high 80's) and curveballs. Sounds like a bullpen guy to me.

Of note for the Brewers: Matt Garza makes his first start since leaving early after suffering a thumb contusion while batting in his last start. He didn't miss any time so hopefully this won't be an issue.

Tuesday, May 6th 7:10 pm: Marco Estrada vs Josh Collmenter

Josh Collmenter is the Diamondbacks' Mike Fiers, or vice versa. That's how I always thought of it anyway. He started in the pen this year, but it seems he and Randall Delgado have switched roles. Collmenter throws mostly fastballs around 86-87 mph and changeups around 78 mph, with an occasional curveball. If I remember correctly he has good deception which helps him survive. I feel like this is one of those guys with mediocre stuff that the Brewers just never do well against. Maybe it's the deception in his delivery. Maybe the Brewers just can't handle changeups. I don't know what it is, but I'm just not confident in the Brewers ability to score runs off this guy.

Of note for the Brewers: I love Marco Estrada.

Wednesday, May 7th 12:10 pm: Wily Peralta vs Saturn Nuts

I can't find it right now, but I remember shortly after signing Garza, Doug Melvin gave an interview where he basically alluded to the fact that had he not got Garza he was going to sign Bronson Arroyo. If you think Garza has had his struggles this season, wait until you get a load of Arroyo's stats. Innings eater Arroyo is averaging 5 IP per start. His 6.03 ERA would rank 2nd among qualified starters, but he hasn't pitched enough innings to qualify. His 5.14 FIP doesn't offer much hope either if you're a D-Backs fan. Arroyo was never a pitcher looking to strike guys out, but his current 11.3% strikeout rate is laughable. He's also, unsurprisingly, having HR issues.

Of note for the Brewers: Wily Peralta's fastball is purported to have done the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs. Shut up. I had some unused jokes from this weekend and I couldn't think of anything else to put here.

Prediction

This is a series match-up of the current best team in baseball and the current worst team in baseball. The Brewers have to win at least 2 out of 3 in this series. Braun is out and the offense hasn't been clicking, but the starting pitchers they're up against here are pretty mediocre and that's being kind. If I was ever to legitimately say the Brewers should sweep a series, this is probably the one. Even against awful teams that's easier said than done, so let's just call it 2 out of 3.

Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs

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