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Series Preview: Milwaukee Brewers @ New York Mets

The Brewers finally get a new opponent for the first time in 16 days

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets
Hello, old friend.
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The last time the Brewers played someone other than the St. Louis Cardinals or Los Angeles Dodgers, it was two and a half weeks ago.

Having lost 7 of 8, the Brewers desperately needed a day off, and some new opponents. Just about any opponent would do, but the Mets may be the right opponent at the right time — especially considering the Mets are basically the same team as the Brewers right now.

Despite the hype around the Mets’ rotation — one most Brewers fans would take in a heartbeat — the Mets have allowed more runs (140) than the Brewers (137) this year. The Brewers may have the worst ERA in the NL at 5.27, but the Mets are second-worst at 5.15. Their starters have put up a 4.97 ERA, also second-worst in the NL. They reportedly passed on signing Gio Gonzalez because they feel the 36-year-old Jason Vargas and his 7.20 ERA after a 5.77 ERA last year is better (it’s probably worth noting that Vargas’ old agent is now the GM of the team).

New York comes into this series at 13-11, but they’ve also had the benefit of 3 games against the Miami Marlins at this point.

Probable Pitchers

Friday, April 26th - 6:10 p.m. CDT
Chase Anderson vs. Jacob deGrom

deGrom is supposed to come off the Injured List to start tonight after missing a start due to a sore right elbow, which was enough to send most of Queens into a panic after the Mets finally signed him to a 5-year, $137.5 million deal. In 4 starts this year, deGrom has a 3.68 ERA/3.75 FIP with 36 strikeouts and 7 walks in 22 innings. He’s also been one of many pitchers bitten by the home run bug this year, allowing 5 long balls so far after allowing 10 all of last season.

Saturday, April 27th - 6:10 p.m. CDT
Brandon Woodruff vs. Noah Syndergaard

Syndergaard is having a bit of a weird start to the season, striking out 34 in 29 innings but giving up 21 runs (19 earned) for a 5.90 ERA. Despite his stuff, he’s been oddly hittable, and has yielded at least 4 earned runs in every start but one this year. He’s given up a total of 17 hits in his last two starts, covering only 10 innings.

Sunday, April 28th - 12:10 p.m. CDT
Zach Davies vs. Steven Matz

Matz has a 4.03 ERA through 5 starts, but has given up 5 home runs in 22.1 innings after giving up 25 last year, leading to a 4.99 FIP to start the season. A lot of the damage to the ERA came in one start, where he pulled a Ben Hendrickson on April 16th in Philadelphia, giving up 8 runs (6 earned) on 4 hits, a walk and a hit batter while not recording an out. He bounced back in his next start, also against the Phillies, that time holding them to 1 run on 3 hits over 6 innings, striking out 6.

Previous Series

May 24-27, 2018

After getting shut out 5-0 by Matz in Milwaukee in the series opener, the Brewers overcame a blown save by Corey Knebel -- who issued three walks and a hit before being lifted for Jeremy Jeffress -- to put together a literal walk-off in Game 2, with Travis Shaw drawing a bases-loaded walk to win the game. They would go on to slug the crap out of the Mets in the next two games, including a 17-6 romp in Game 3 and an 8-7 win in the finale for a 3-1 series win. It was the second-to-last series in a 19-8 month of May that outside of September was the Brewers’ best month in one of their three best seasons ever.

Player To Watch

Rookie first baseman Pete Alonso managed to escape service time manipulation by the infamously cheap Mets and broke camp with the big league team after a hot spring that made it impossible for them to leave him behind. He’s lived up to the hype, hitting .306/.404/.682 with 8 home runs and 8 doubles in his first 99 plate appearances. Three years ago, he was playing college baseball. Now he might be the NL’s Rookie of the Month, and the Mets’ lineup would be pretty punchless without him in it.

Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference