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Today's Matchup: Milwaukee (Narveson) vs Houston (Myers)

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The Brewers are going for the sweep but, judging by their lineup, they don't really want it.

Brett Myers (3-11, 4.66) is making the start for the Astros today.  After posting a 3.13 ERA and 3.56 FIP last year, Myers signed a two year, $23MM contract.  He's certainly not pitching like someone who should be making $11.5MM this year, though, as his ERA is the third highest it's been in his career and he's currently putting up a 4.91 FIP--also the third highest number of his career.  His strikeout rate and walk rate are both down from his career numbers, though his HR/9 is sky high at 1.66.  Were we to normalize the home run rate, his xFIP would be a much more respectable 3.93.  Unfortunately for Myers and the Astros, I don't think we can expect that HR/9 to come down a whole as Myers has always given up a lot of homers over his career as shown by a career 1.30 HR/9. 

Myers hasn't been good against righties this year as he's given up a .254/.307/.452 line to them but he has been downright terrible against left handed hitters to the tune of a .307/.362/.502 line.  He's actually slightly better on the road, allowing a .778 OPS as opposed to an .831 OPS when pitching in Houston in 2011.

The 31 year old righty really likes to mix up his pitches as he doesn't throw anything significantly more than his other pitches.  In his repertoire are a 75 MPH curveball that he throws 21% of the time, an 82 MPH slider that he throws 20% of the time, an 88 MPH cutter that he throws 20% of the time, an 88 MPH four seamer that he throws 17% of the time, an 88 MPH sinker that he throws 14% of the time, and finally am 82 MPH changeup that he throws 7% of the time.  One notable thing about fangraphs pitch values for Myers is they have his fastball at a very low value--over 108 runs below average in his career and over 16 runs below average this season alone. 

Myers has faced eight different Brewers at least ten times.  Here's how they've fared:

PA Slash Line
Felipe Lopez 40 ..306/.359/.417
Ryan Braun 25 .280/.280/.600
Corey Hart 24 .217/.250/.391
Prince Fielder 23 .400/.478/1.050
Craig Counsell 19 .188/.316/.188
Casey McGehee 18 .222/.222/.222
Jonathan Lucroy 12 .444/.583/.778
Jerry Hairston 10 .111/.200/.111

 

The Brewers will counters with Chris Narveson (7-6, 4.41), who is currently sporting 3.49 FIP--better than Yovani Gallardo and Shaun Marcum!  In his last outing, against the Cubs, the Narv Dog allowed two runs in five innings.  July has been pretty good to him, barring his first start this month when he gave up seven earned runs in 4.1 innings.  Over his last four starts, though, Narveson has a 2.63 ERA.  Hopefully he can keep it up! 

Due in part to trades, the only Astro whom Narveson has faced at least ten times is Carlos Lee who, in exactly 10 PA, has a career .500/.500/.800 line. 

Lineup:

RF Corey Hart
CF Mark Kotsay
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
2B Felipe Lopez
SS Yuniesky Betancourt
C Jonathan Lucroy
3B Craig Counsell
LHP Chris Narveson

Craig Counsell gets to keep up his hitless AB streak (currently at 41) and if Jerry Hairston can't break into THIS lineup, why is he even here?

Bullpen:

Kameron Loe pitched 1 inning (9 pitches) Friday and 1 innings (22 pitches) yesterday.
Marco Estrada pitched 1 inning (23 pitches) yesterday.

Takashi Saito pitched 1 inning (17 pitches) Friday.
John Axford
pitched 1 inning (16 pitches) Thursday.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched 1 inning (20 pitches) Thursday.
LaTroy Hawkins pitched one inning (15 pitches) Thursday.
Tim Dillard hasn't pitched in so long, that I don't know if any jokes for his absence exist anymore.