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Series Preview: Milwaukee Brewers @ Minnesota Twins

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The Brewers get a chance for redemption against their other cross-border rival

Kansas City Royals v Minnesota Twins Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With a third of the 2020 season in the books, the Milwaukee Brewers continue their tough stretch of opposing offenses tonight in Minnesota.

The Twins clubbed their way to a series win over the Brewers last week in Milwaukee, but the Brewers will hope for different results this week after taking 3 of 4 from a tough Cubs lineup. Like the Cubs, the Twins have been excellent at home this year, coming into this series with a 10-2 record at Target Field.

They started their current homestand by taking 3 of 4 from the Kansas City Royals, and are now tied for the second-best run differential in baseball at +38, behind only the Los Angeles Dodgers. As we saw last week, this is a lineup that’s no joke.

The Brewers largely held Nelson Cruz in check last week, limiting him to 1-for-9 with 2 walks and a HBP, but he went on a rampage over the weekend against the Royals, including 2 home runs on Sunday to boost his season total to 8, leading the team. He’s also leading the Twins in batting (.354), RBI (23), wOBA (.465), wRC+ (200), OPS+ (204) and WAR (1.4).

As good as the lineup is, the pitching has been just as impressive. They rank 3rd in baseball with a 3.33 team ERA, 5th in WHIP with a team average of 1.13, and are holding opponents to a .222 average.

Pitchers, Probably

Tuesday, August 18th - 7:10 p.m. CDT
Corbin Burnes vs. Kenta Maeda

Wednesday, August 19th - 7:10 p.m. CDT
Brett Anderson vs. TBD

Thursday, August 20th - 6:10 p.m. CDT
Brandon Woodruff vs. Jose Berrios

Maeda held the Brewers to 2 runs in a season-high 6.2 innings last week, again showing impeccable control as he’s walked just 4 batters in 23.2 innings to start his season. He’s carrying a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 5.25, and that rate held up last week — when he struck out 5 Brewers and only walked 1. The Twins have had the lead when he left the game in all 4 of his starts this year.

Berrios, meanwhile, has struggled with walks to start the year. He’s given 13 free passes in 24.1 innings so far, with 10 of those coming in his last 3 starts — including 4 in 4 innings on Saturday. That could be good news for the Brewers, who have found themselves in a lot of deep counts. Of course, that could also lead to plenty of strikeouts — Berrios has struck out 24 in those 24.1 innings.

In between, the Twins’ starter for Wednesday is still TBD after the team played a doubleheader on Saturday. Jake Odorizzi was scheduled to make a start Friday night before that game was rained out, leading to him starting on Saturday instead. Since the team is easing him back from injury, it’s possible the Twins go to a bullpen game instead of having him start on short rest.

Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference