Coming off of a series win against Miami, the Brewers will hope to wrap up their homestand on a high note against one of the most disappointing teams in baseball -- the Baltimore Orioles.
Hovering around .500 for much of this year, the Orioles can still hit -- they have 6 players with double-digit home run totals, and two more sitting at 8 dingers -- but the pitching has been a flat-out disaster. Their team ERA of 5.08 is second-worst in the majors, they're dead last in WHIP and batting average against, and tied for 24th in quality starts.
And while there is plenty of power up and down the lineup, the overall offensive production is lagging: the O's rank 22nd in runs scored, 26th in on-base percentage, and 15th in slugging percentage. A lot of that could possibly be attributed to them being the ultimate Dingers And Strikeouts lineup -- just take a look at the home run totals and K% of Manny Machado (16 and 20.4%), Mark Trumbo (11 and 21.2%), Jonathan Schoop (16 and 21.4%), Trey Mancini (14 and 27.9%) and Chris Davis (14 and 38%).
With the way both teams are built, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Brewers involved in another game with 20+ combined strikeouts.
Monday, 1:10 p.m. CDT, FS Wisconsin - Wade Miley vs. Brent Suter
Miley's tenure in Baltimore got off to a bad start last season after coming to the Orioles in a trade deadline deal with the Mariners. He had a 6.17 ERA in 11 starts after the trade last year, but had a 3.79 FIP. Things have gone a little better for him this season on the results front -- at least until recently. His ERA was at 2.82 after his start on June 1st, but since then, he's allowed 22 ER in 20.2 innings. A lot of that damage has been self-inflicted, with Miley walking a league-high 46 batters in 81.1 innings. He is striking out 8.2 per 9 innings, but combined with the walks, that's making for a bunch of short, inefficient outings. His longest start in the past 5 outings has been just 5.2 innings.
Tuesday, 3:10 p.m. CDT, FS Wisconsin - Ubaldo Jimenez vs. Jimmy Nelson
Hey, speaking of inefficient and inconsistent. Jimenez was mostly terrible this year until his last start, when he somehow threw 8 shutout innings with 8 strikeouts and just 1 walk and 2 hits allowed. In his start before that, he allowed 9 runs on 7 hits and 4 walks in 2.1 innings. Now 33, he still struggles with mechanics, leading to extensive issues with walks and home runs. Sometimes that unpredictable nature can lead to a surprise good outing, but most of the time he'll end up getting crushed. It doesn't help that his velocity has fallen off drastically since his days in Colorado, when he could get by on blowing a fastball past a hitter when he got into trouble. Back then, he could reach back for 96 or 97. Now he's working much more frequently in the upper 80s and very low 90s.
Wednesday, 6:10 p.m. CDT, FS Wisconsin - Chris Tillman vs. Matt Garza
Another Orioles pitcher who has had a disastrous start to the season, Tillman's ERA stands at 7.90 coming into this series. While most of us know ERA isn't always a true indicator of performance, I think we can all agree that you have to be pretty bad to carry a mark near 8 after 11 starts. He gave up 31 runs (28 earned) in 26 innings in 6 June starts, including 9 earned runs in just 1.1 innings against the Yankees. He's also surrendered 79 hits in just 49 total innings for the year, which shakes out to a 14.5 H/9 mark. There's a chance Tillman doesn't make this start in the series finale, but it's not due to performance -- he and his wife are expecting a new baby any day now.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs