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Brewers (48-68) vs Phillies (46-69) series preview

This weekend series is an important one in the race for the basement.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

As of right now the Phillies have the worst record in baseball. The Marlins are just a half game better than them. The Brewers are 1.5 games ahead. What we're really talking about here is next year's draft. As I'm sure most of you are aware, draft order is determined in reverse order of season record. In other words as of right now the Brewers are 1.5 games back of the top overall pick in next year's draft. It's not the race anyone was really hoping the Brewers would find themselves in but a top draft pick isn't a bad consolation prize, especially for a team in a rebuilding phase.

The last time these two teams met the Brewers swept the four game series. That was at the end of June/beginning of July though. Since them the Brewers have shipped Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Gomez, Mike Fiers, Gerardo Parra, and Jonathan Broxton. The Phillies have also traded players not the least of which was Cole Hamels.

Since that four game series each team has gone in opposite directions. The Phillies have a 19-15 record since July 3rd. The Brewers have had a 15-20 record.

In the second half the Brewers offense (87 wRC+) has ranked 27th in baseball. The Phillies offense (108 wRC+), on the other hand, has ranked 11th! That's a pretty huge swing for the Phillies and way better than the Brewers have been doing.

The pitching favors the Brewers though. The Brewers combined pitching staff (4.04 ERA, 3.85 FIP, 2.8 fWAR) has ranked 11th in baseball during the second half of the season. The Phillies pitching staff (4.25 ERA, 3.86 FIP, 2.3 fWAR) ranked just a bit lower at 16th.

Offensive Spotlight

The Phillies offense in the second half has been quite impressive. Of the 15 batters that have swung the bat for them only 4 have been below a 100 wRC+ (league average). Among the regulars Odubel Herrera has stood out. In the second half he's hitting 342/373/494 with a 141 wRC+. Obviously we're dealing with some arbitrary endpoints and small sample sizes. On the season he's hitting 285/315/421. That's pretty close to league average. But he is a rookie and could be finding his groove.

Pitching Match-Ups

Friday August 14, 7:10 pm CST: Wily Peralta vs Adam Morgan

Morgan: 13.2 K%, 7.4 BB%, .277 BAA, 1.40 WHIP, 30.3 GB%, 1.42 HR/9, 4.06 ERA, 5.18 FIP

He throws a fastball (88-89), slider, change-up, and occasional curveball.

Saturday August 15, 6:10 pm CST: Jimmy Nelson vs Jerome Williams

Williams: 12.9 K%, 5.4 BB%, .321 BAA, 1.63 WHIP, 44.6 GB%, 1.75 HR/9, 5.73 ERA, 5.32 FIP

He throws a fastball (89-91), cutter, change-up, and occasional curveball.

Sunday August 16, 1:10 pm CST: Taylor Jungmann vs Aaron Harang

Harang: 15.5 K%, 6.5 BB%, .273 BAA, 1.37 WHIP, 35.2 GB%, 1.11 HR/9, 4.52 ERA, 4.34 FIP

Statistics courtesy of FanGraphs