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Series Preview: Milwaukee Brewers vs. Miami Marlins

The two teams square off for the first time in 2017.

Miami Marlins v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

After going 2-4 on their most recent six game road trip in Atlanta and Cincinnati, the Milwaukee Brewers return home to Miller Park still atop the standing in the NL Central. At 42-39, the Brewers hold a tenuous 1.0 game lead over the Chicago Cubs through the season’s halfway point of 81 games.

Milwaukee’s first opponent during their upcoming six game homestand will be the Miami Marlins, who come to town for a three game set. The Marlins were expected to be at least competitive in the NL East this season, but that hasn’t been how things have played out to this point. At 35-42, the Marlins are 11.0 games back of the Nationals for the division lead and have only a 5.4% chance of making the playoffs according to Fangraphs. Their offense ranks just 20th in the league with 350 runs scored and the pitching hasn’t been much better, checking in at 19th with a collective 4.52 ERA. Marcell Ozuna (20 HR, 144 wRC+), Giancarlo Stanton (21 HR, 133 wRC+), and Justin Bour (18 HR, 137 wRC+) are the main threats to watch out for in the lineup, but the offense doesn’t pack much punch beyond that trio.

Probable Pitchers

Friday, 7:10 PM CST, FSWisconsin - Matt Garza (3-4, 4.43 ERA) vs. Edinson Volquez (4-8, 4.15 ERA)

Volquez threw a no-hitter earlier this season and is enjoying a nice bounceback season after struggling with the Royals last year. He still sits in the mid-90s with his fastball and is striking out more batters than he has in any season since 2012 while posting a solid 4.15 ERA that’s backed up by a 4.29 FIP. Volquez has issued far too many free passes this year (5.36 BB/9) however, so there figures to be plenty of opportunities for the Milwaukee Nine to take advantage of traffic on the bases during this game.

Saturday, 3:10 PM CST, FSWisconsin - Zach Davies (8-4, 4.96 ERA) vs. TBD

This normally would’ve been Justin Nicolino’s turn in the rotation, but it was announced earlier this week that he’d be moving the the bullpen after posting a 5.31 ERA/6.28 FIP in 20.1 innings to start the year. The Marlins have yet to announce who will get the start in his place. Davies is coming off of an odd outing his last time out - he pitched 7 scoreless innings with four hits and one walk in his deepest start of the year, but didn’t strike out a single batter during the win over Atlanta.

Sunday, 1:10 PM CST, FSWisconsin - Junior Guerra (1-2. 4.54 ERA) vs. Dan Straily (5-4, 3.44 ERA)

The Marlins gave up a decent package to bring Straily in from Cincinnati during the offseason, and so far this year he’s been their best pitcher. A 3.44 ERA and 3.80 FIP through 89.0 innings are both on pace to be the best marks of his career, and Straily is striking out more batters than he ever has (25.0%) while boasting the lowest walk rate (7.8%) that he’s ever produced as a big leaguer. Straily’s average fastball of 91.0 MPH is up a full mile per hour over his average heater with the Reds last year. He has been touched up to the tune of 1.11 HR/9 and is allowing hard contact at the highest rate of his career (34.5%) though, so the Milwaukee Nine should be able to take some good cuts against him.

Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs