It’s been an interesting week for fans of Wisconsin sports. The week started with the news of Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers being traded from the Green Bay Packers to the New York Jets. Not soon after the Rodgers news, the Milwaukee Bucks, who entered the NBA Playoffs with the best record in the league, suffered back-to-back heartbreaking losses to the Miami Heat to get eliminated from the playoffs.
And for the cherry on top; the Brewers are in the midst of their worse stretch of baseball in 2023.
The Brewers made it two series losses in a row on Tuesday, defeating the Tigers 6-2 on Wednesday to avoid the sweep. The tough home stretch has seen their lead in the division turn to a 1.5-game deficit to the Pirates. With each of their three home opponents entering their respective series with a record of .500 or worse, the Brewers have squandered an early chance to create a gap in the division. They have an opportunity this weekend to find some momentum before another trip out west.
Meanwhile, the Angels have found themselves in a bit of a groove. Winners of three of their last four, the 13-12 Angels are led by the two best players in baseball: Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. Trout enters the series slashing .311/.415/578 with five home runs. His OPS of .993 puts him ninth among qualified hitters. Not to be outdone, Ohtani enters Thursday with six home runs and 16 RBI. The most versatile player in baseball will be left to just one discipline in Milwaukee, as he isn’t scheduled to start any of the three games against the Brewers.
Friday will also be a homecoming for former Brewer Hunter Renfroe. While in Milwaukee for just one season, the right fielder made an impact both in the field and at the plate. In 125 games last season, Renfroe slashed .255/.315/.492 with 29 home runs. He led the team in batting average and slugging percentage, was third in home runs, third in RBI, and second in OPS. His success has carried to the City of Angels, leading the team with seven home runs.
Probable Pitching Matchups
Friday, April 28 @ 7:10 p.m.: Wade Miley (3-1) vs. Tyler Anderson (1-0)
Tyler Anderson started the season off hot, getting the win over the Athletics in an outing that saw him give up just four hits across six innings of scoreless baseball. Since then, he has struggled. His longest outing since was on Saturday, when he went 5 1⁄3 innings in an 11-8 loss to the Royals. Since his first start, he has yet to record a start that saw less than five earned runs allowed.
Wade Miley has continued to be a welcome addition to the backend of the rotation. Entering with an ERA of 1.96, he has delivered productive starts each time he has gotten the ball. The lefty has a perfect 2-0 record at American Family Field in 2023, allowing two earned runs in two starts.
Saturday, April 29 @ 6:10 p.m.: Reid Detmers (0-1) vs. Corbin Burnes (2-1)
The 23-year-old left-handed Detmers has made four starts this season, but only an 0-1 record to show for it. In 2022, he finished with an ERA of 3.77 and a WHIP of 1.21. The Angels are an even 2-2 when he gets the start, and they won their last time out with him on the mound, 4-3.
Corbin Burnes went five innings against the Red Sox following an injury scare that forced him to exit early against the Mariners. At 2-1 with 22 strikeouts and a 4.55 ERA, we have seen only a glimpse of the dominance Burnes has shown in the past. His best start of the season was an eight-inning, eight-strikeout performance against the Diamondbacks on April 11.
Sunday, April 30 @ 1:10 p.m.: Jose Suarez (0-1) vs. Colin Rea (0-1)
Suarez enters the final game of the series with some crooked-looking numbers. His ERA of 10.26 can be attributed to his last appearance when he gave up seven runs in five innings to the Athletics. Beyond that, the Angels have only one win in Suarez-started games, and he only went 3 1⁄3 innings in the 5-2 win over the Yankees on April 18.
Colin Rea will take the mound for the final game in April for the Brewers. Filling in the rotation while the Brewers wait for Woodruff to return, Rea has been overall solid even if the numbers don’t show it. He has gone five or more innings in each start and has given up fewer than six hits in each of those three starts. The 32-year-old will look for his first win of the season on Sunday as he tries to avoid the big inning, which has hampered him in his latest starts.