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Series Preview: Cincinnati Reds @ Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers hope to keep their wildcard hopes alive with their final series against Scooter and the Reds

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Cincinnati Reds David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Brewers' chances at an NL Central crown may have been sunk over the past weekend, but the postseason dream is still very much alive. The Miami Marlins beat the Colorado Rockies on Monday night while the Brewers were off, trimming the deficit in the race for the second wildcard to just 1.5 games. The Cardinals also lost to the Cubs, creating a little bit of breathing room between the Cards and Brewers -- St. Louis is now a full game behind the Crew, and that could be big if the Brewers can capitalize on their series against the Reds while the Cardinals face much tougher competition this week.

The Brewers still might come up short in the wild card race, but if they do well enough this week against the Reds, they'll at least put themselves in a position to make sure the Cardinals aren't making it to October, either.

For scoreboard watching purposes, the Rockies have two more games against the Marlins before taking Thursday off ahead of finishing the regular season schedule with 3 games against the Dodgers. Considering how they've struggled lately -- losing 5 of their past 7 -- the Brewers' hopes are still very much alive. Here's to hoping the Marlins still have some residual Wes Helms magic left from 9 years ago.

Probable Pitchers

Tuesday, 6:40 p.m. CDT, FS Wisconsin - Deck McGuire vs. Zach Davies

A former first round pick of the Blue Jays in 2010, McGuire will be making his first major league start for the Reds at age 28 after bouncing around the minors for 7 years. It won't be his major league debut, though -- he's made 4 appearances out of the bullpen this month, pitching 5.2 scoreless innings in mostly mop-up duty. He made 3 of those 4 appearances in games that the Reds were already trailing and on their way to losing, and in the lone Reds win, he pitched a scoreless inning with a 5-run lead. It's safe to say this might be the first big league game in which he faces any sort of pressure and possibly have to work his way out of jams. McGuire had a 2.79 ERA in 28 games (27 starts) at Double-A Pensacola this year, striking out 170 in 168 innings. While those are impressive numbers, he was also roughly 4 years older than the average Double-A player.

Wednesday, 7:10 p.m. CDT, FS Wisconsin - Homer Bailey vs. Brandon Woodruff

This year has been a total loss for Bailey, who comes into this start with an ERA at 6.96 in 17 starts, and that's actually an improvement from where it was the last time the Brewers saw him on Labor Day. It was 7.24 back then, before Bailey held the Brewers to 3 runs in 6 innings. That was the third straight start of his allowing 3 runs or less, but the rest of September has seen a roller coaster of results, allowing 5 runs in 6 innings against the Mets, 1 run in 5.2 innings against the Pirates, and 4 runs in 4 innings against the Cardinals. It looks like the constant injuries have taken their toll and Bailey has never gotten close to even being a replacement-level pitcher this year. He'll be 32 next year and is still owed at least $51 million over the next three years.

Thursday, 3:10 p.m. CDT, FS Wisconsin - Sal Romano vs. Brent Suter

After a rocky start to his big league career, Sal from Long Island has bounced back in the second half of his season. After the Brewers roughed him up for 7 runs (6 earned) on August 13th, Romano has responded with a 2.95 ERA in his last 7 starts, a figure that's higher than it had been after he gave up 5 runs in 4 innings against the Red Sox in his last start. Milwaukee also faced him in his first career start back in April, chasing him after 82 pitches in 3 innings following 4 walks and 3 hits (including 2 home runs). He may have been better lately, but the Brewers have had his number so far this year.

Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference