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Series Preview: Milwaukee Brewers @ Toronto Blue Jays

Crew heads to Toronto for the first time since 2017


The Brewers, sitting at 28-25 and in first place in the NL Central, have had an up-and-down season, but they’re hoping to get back on the right track after taking the final game against the Giants on Sunday afternoon, avoiding a four-game sweep at home. On the other side, the Toronto Blue Jays enter the series with a nearly identical 28-26 but are currently in last place in the strong AL East, 10.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays. After a five-game losing streak earlier this month, the Jays are 3-3 in their last six games entering this series.


Milwaukee’s leading hitter continues to be Owen Miller, who had a 2-for-2 day on Sunday before exiting after a hit by pitch. He’s currently considered day-to-day and is expected to be available for this series. Rowdy Tellez still leads the team with 12 homers while Brian Anderson leads the way with 30 RBIs. With the absence of Willy Adames for the rest of the week, we’ll see if Craig Counsell continues to use Brice Turang as the primary shortstop in Toronto.

For the Blue Jays, they’ve been led by a breakout campaign from Bo Bichette, who leads the team with 11 homers and 37 RBIs while slashing .338/.376/.537 over 54 games. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. sits right behind him with eight homers and 34 RBIs while Wisconsin native Daulton Varsho has eight homers of his own. After a red-hot start to the season, Matt Chapman is now slashing .285/.366/.485 with seven homers. The Jays also have some bigger names including George Springer, Kevin Kiermaier, Whit Merrifield, Brandon Belt, and Alejandro Kirk in the lineup.

Probable Pitching Matchups

Tuesday, May 30 @ 6:07 p.m.: Adrian Houser (1-0) vs. Yusei Kikuchi (5-2)

After missing the first month of the season, Houser has returned looking like his 2021 self. He’s tossed 20 innings over four starts, pitching to a 2.25 ERA with 14 strikeouts and a high groundball rate. He earned his first win of the season his last time out, allowing no runs over 5 13 innings against the Astros, so he’ll look to continue that success in Toronto.

Despite a 4.56 ERA through 10 starts this season, Kikuchi has been fairly consistent for the Jays, pitching five-plus innings in six starts and four-plus innings in all 10 appearances. He’s struggled as of late, allowing 13 runs (12 earned) over his last three appearances (13 23 innings) while going from 5-0 to 5-2 on the season with back-to-back losses against the Orioles and Rays.

Wednesday, May 31 @ 6:07 p.m.: Julio Teheran (0-1) vs. Alek Manoah (1-5)

Despite earning the loss, Teheran had a strong start in his Brewers debut on Thursday against the Giants, going five innings and allowing just one run with five strikeouts in his first big-league appearance since 2021. He’ll get the ball again against Toronto as he looks to repeat that success against the heavy-hitting Blue Jays lineup.

Manoah, an All Star in 2022, has not been able to repeat that success in 2023. Through 11 starts, he sits with a 5.53 ERA. Despite his struggles, he’s shown flashes of success, including two appearances of seven innings with no runs allowed against the Royals and Yankees back in April. He’s 0-4 in the month of May so far, allowing 20 runs (16 earned) over just 22 13 innings (6.45 ERA) against the Red Sox, Phillies, Yankees, Orioles, and Rays.

Thursday, June 1 @ 12:07 p.m.: Freddy Peralta (5-4) vs. Kevin Gausman (3-3)

Peralta has been roughed up as of late, including a 10-run outing (although only four runs were earned) across 2 13 innings against the Giants on Friday night. He has a 4.64 ERA through 10 starts this season, although his ERA for the month of May is at 5.61.

Gausman sits with a 3.03 ERA on the season, although that’s inflated due to two starts of seven and eight runs allowed. In his last four appearances, he’s allowed just six runs (five earned) over 26 13 innings for a 1.71 ERA. He’s been especially adept at getting swings and misses, striking out 89 batters over 68 13 innings, good for third-most this season behind Spencer Strider and Shohei Ohtani.


Joel Payamps and Devin Williams continue to be the top arms for Milwaukee, as Payamps has pitched to a 2.13 ERA over 25 13 innings while Williams sits at a 0.54 ERA over 16 23 innings and a perfect 8-for-8 in save opportunities. Elvis Peguero has quietly been good with a 3.24 ERA over 16 23 innings, while Bryse Wilson is having a career year with a 2.70 ERA over 26 23 in long relief.

The Blue Jays top arms include Yimi Garcia, Erik Swanson, Tim Mayza, Anthony Bass, Trevor Richards, and closer Jordan Romano. Garcia and Swanson lead the team with 25 appearances each, although Garcia has struggled to a 6.46 ERA. Mayza leads the way with a sterling 0.96 ERA over 18 23 innings and Richards, the former Brewer, has a 3.68 ERA over 22 innings. Romano has had some struggles this season with three blown saves, but he sits with a respectable 3.00 ERA over 21 total innings.


Given Milwaukee’s offensive struggles as of late, I’ll take the Blue Jays to win two of three, especially considering how good this Toronto lineup is from top to bottom. While Milwaukee’s pitching staff may have the advantage over the Blue Jays, you just can’t win if you don’t score runs.