After a bump in the road in the early part of the month, your Milwaukee Brewers seem to be back on track with back-to-back series wins against the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs. Now they look to make it three series wins in a row as they face the Phillies for the second time in a week, this time at home.
While the Brewers were busy eeking out tightly-contested games against the Cubs this week, the Phillies were busy taking 2 of 3 from the slumping Colorado Rockies, putting them at 35-31 heading into this weekend.
Friday, 7:10 p.m. CDT
Jake Arrieta vs. Brent Suter
Saturday, 3:10 p.m. CDT
Zach Eflin vs. Junior Guerra
Sunday, 1:10 p.m. CDT
Aaron Nola vs. Chase Anderson
After taking a series from the Cubs, the Brewers face a former Cub in the first game of this series. The Crew was able to get to Arrieta in their last meeting, scoring four runs against him in 5.1 innings. That was in Philadelphia, though, and he’s had plenty of success in Miller Park in his career, putting up a 2.03 ERA when pitching in Milwaukee. As we noted in last week’s Phillies preview, though, he’s already far from the pitcher he used to be -- his 4 strikeouts against the Brewers further dropped his K/9 to just 6.2. If there’s something that’s been working in his favor, it’s that he’s only allowed 4 home runs in his first 70 or so innings, part of him inducing a career-high 56.6% groundball rate.
Eflin was the one Phillies starter to truly subdue the Brewers last weekend, striking out 9 en route to the only Phillies win in that series. After that outing he now has a 110 ERA+ in 39.2 innings this year, striking out 40 and walking just 10. The main piece the Phillies got back from the Dodgers for Jimmy Rollins back in 2014, he seems to be coming into his own at age 24 after a rough couple of partial seasons to start his career.
The Brewers missed Nola, the true Phillies ace, in their first go-around but get him in this series finale. He’s coming off his third 10-strikeout outing of the season, shutting down the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday, and has already compiled 4.1 bWAR/2.8 fWAR on the year with a 2.27 ERA/2.62 FIP. He’s managed to do it by cutting his HR/FB rate from 12.7% last year to 7.9% this year, and he’s struck out 90 in 91 innings while only walking 22.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs