The Brewers are back at home after a 10-game road trip and are facing off against the Boston Red Sox. The Brewers have been extremely hot as of late, winning three out of four games in San Diego followed by a sweep of the Mariners. With Milwaukee’s record sitting at 14-5 heading into Friday’s opener against Boston, another series win could prove vital for the Crew to fend off the Pirates and Cubs for the top spot in the NL Central.
Milwaukee has been dealing with some injuries as of late, namely both Garrett Mitchell and Brandon Woodruff heading to the IL in the last two weeks. Corbin Burnes also had a scare, although avoided being put on the IL and is expected to make his next start. The Brewers will need to use their depth with Brian Anderson, Owen Miller, Blake Perkins, and Michael Brosseau to help fill in the holes left by Mitchell.
The Red Sox have a few big bats, and their star third baseman Rafael Devers is the catalyst of their offense. Alex Verdugo has also started his season off with a bang, posting a .329 batting average in 73 at-bats. Adam Duvall started his season hitting .455 in 33 at-bats but is now on the IL, putting a hamper in Boston’s lineup until at least June.
The Brewers will most likely have a rotating platoon throughout this homestand with Luis Urias and Mitchell hurt. Brosseau will get some time at third, while Miller and Anderson have experience playing both the infield and the outfield. Joey Wiemer, who was going through a long hitless streak, has started hitting the ball better in the past couple of days and will most likely start in center field due to his defensive capabilities.
Probable Pitching Matchups
Friday, April 21 @ 7:10 p.m.: Freddy Peralta (2-1) vs. Nick Pivetta (0-1)
Peralta has looked fantastic this season, having only given up one home run in 17 innings and posting an ERA of 3.18 through his first three starts. This is the type of Peralta the Brewers are going to need if a playoff run is in the cards.
Pivetta has struggled somewhat this year, having not won a game and giving up six runs to the Angels his last time out. The Brewers' offense should be able to do some damage off Pivetta and could get him out of the game early.
Saturday, April 22 @ 6:10 p.m.: Wade Miley (2-1) vs. Garrett Whitlock (1-1)
Wade Miley’s performances this year cannot be understated. He has provided more than almost all Brewers fans have hoped and has shown so far that he can consistently string together good starts that put the team in a position to win. Miley only having a 1.50 ERA supports the fact that he has been one of the best offseason additions of the Brewers, and he’ll look to carry that success into a matchup with Boston.
Whitlock, like Pivetta, had a rough start to his season, giving up five runs in five innings, but he bounced back to allow just one run against the Angels. He’ll give Milwaukee’s offense another great chance to produce at the plate.
Sunday, April 23 @ 1:10 p.m.: Corbin Burnes (2-1) vs. Brayan Bello (0-1)
Corbin Burnes start will be interesting, due to his recent injury and how good he has been. It will be worrying if Burnes injury affects his production because he had just started reverting to his Cy Young form, going eight scoreless against the Diamondbacks early last week. Burnes is still expected to start, but coming off even a slight injury is always a risky proposition, especially with Woodruff already out for an extended period. Burnes will work to get his ERA down from 4.76 against this below-.500 Red Sox team.
Bello, who’s only made one start thus far, lasted just 2 2⁄3 innings against the Angels, when he allowed five earned runs. The Brewers offense should again be able to score multiple runs off of him, as he hasn’t had much success in his short big-league career thus far.
The Brewers bullpen has been absolute nails to start the year, including clutch appearances from Matt Bush and Bryse Wilson over their long West Coast road trip. Add in the Devin Williams factor, and the Brewers are arguably one of the most underrated bullpens in the league.
The Red Sox added longtime Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, and in six appearances has not given up a run. In a close game, he could definitely give the Brewers problems and has been a star closer for more than a decade at this point. Josh Winckowski has also pitched well, with a 1.93 ERA in seven appearances.
Based on the pitching matchups, momentum, and offensive production, I think the Brewers will sweep the Red Sox, finishing the series on a seven-game win streak. This may be optimistic, but this feels like a different type of Brewers team, and I am very confident in them right now.
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