After a pretty inconsistent stretch of games, the Brewers look to beat the Astros in a three-game series at home. The Brewers have dropped two of three in their last two series against both the Cardinals and Rays and look to get back to winning ways during this homestand. With a slim lead atop the NL Central, winning these games in May and June could be vital for the team come September.
The Brewers' offense has been inconsistent to begin the year, but Manager Craig Counsell has done a great job being creative with not only the positional designations in the field but also with his changes in the batting order. Owen Miller has been leading off recently and has been hitting the ball well, hitting .344 with 32 hits in 93 at-bats, showing that he can get on base for the heart of the order and score runs for the team. Christian Yelich has been hitting the ball well in May, as has Willy Adames. Look for them to try to stay hot in this series.
The Astros have a star-studded hitting lineup with the likes of Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, and Alex Bregman. Mauricio Dubon, however, has been an under-the-radar producer for them to start the year, hitting .309 in 149 at-bats. Kyle Tucker has also been hitting well, posting .276/.358/.460 splits. Look for this offense to score runs — there’s a reason they won a World Series in 2022.
Probable Pitching Matchups
Monday, May 22 @ 6:40 p.m.: Corbin Burnes (4-3) vs. Cristian Javier (4-1)
The Brewers have had to move things around in their starting rotation due to injuries to both Wade Miley and Brandon Woodruff. That means that Burnes gets the start in the opener against Javier. Burnes has had a solid start to his season, posting a 3.48 ERA and allowing five home runs through nine starts.
Cristian Javier is a top pitcher for this Houston Astros team, posting a 3.25 ERA in the first two months of the year. In nine starts, he has allowed seven home runs and walked twelve batters. Javier will be tough for the Brewers to crack open, as he has been pretty consistent all year.
Tuesday, May 23 @ 6:40 p.m.: TBD vs. J.P. France (1-0)
With Wade Miley going out with injury, the Brewers have yet to announce the starter for game two of this three-game set. However, with Colin Rea being recalled to the team from the minors, it seems likely that he will start this one. Rea has been up and down but has mostly struggled in his starts for the Brewers. Hopefully, his stint in the minors will give him the confidence needed to face a scary Astros lineup.
J.P. France has only had three starts this year and is posting a 4.11 ERA with four home runs allowed. This will be the best matchup for the Brewers' offense in this series, so look for them to get the bats going against France, who has only a few big-league appearances under his belt.
Wednesday, May 24 @ 12:10 p.m.: Adrian Houser (0-0) vs. Brandon Bielak (1-1)
Adrian Houser has gotten a lot of innings as of late due to the recent injury issues going on with some of the other starters and has pitched well in his opportunities. Houser has a 3.07 ERA through his three starts while only allowing one home run, staying true to his groundball profile. Houser has slotted in perfectly as that sixth starter/long reliever that Counsell had pictured and has produced well for the Crew so far this season. Look for him to continue his momentum against Houston.
Brandon Bielak has pitched well for Houston this year. In three starts, Bielak has posted a 2.89 ERA and 19 strikeouts. He is striking out nearly nine batters per game and has shown flashes of real big-league potential with this Astros staff. He could provide problems for the Brewers should the hitters become overly aggressive at the plate.
The Brewers have had some surprising breakout players in their bullpen this season, namely Joel Payamps. Payamps has pitched extremely well to start the season, posting a 2.35 ERA in nine appearances. He also has five holds on the season, showing that he is able to keep a lead. Peter Strzelecki has had his share of recent struggles as the set-up man in place of Matt Bush, but he’ll look to get his season back on track at home. Devin Williams has been outstanding, with a sub-1.00 ERA and seven saves, proving that he is a bonafide All-Star closer.
The Astros also have had some fantastic bullpen arms this year, with Hector Neris, Bryan Abreu, and Phil Maton all with ERAs below 1.50. Ryan Pressly has been the Astros' closer now for years and has shown for seasons why he has stuck around as a consistent closing or set-up option for them.
I expect the Brewers' offense to bounce back at home, and with some favorable pitching matchups, I’ll take the Brewers to win two out of three against their former division mates.