The sweep marked a third series loss for the Brewers against their last four opponents. The Crew has gone 4-8 in their last 12 contests.
Despite that skid, the Brewers still boast a solid 18-13 record and remain just 1.5 games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates for first place in the NL Central.
The Giants are in a dicier position, sitting four games below .500 at 13-17. They reside in fourth place in the NL West and are five games out of first.
San Francisco has been a solid team offensively, ranking 11th in baseball with a 106 wRC+. The Giants have also gotten excellent work from their starting pitchers, who rank fifth with a 3.40 ERA.
The bullpen has been the team’s greatest weakness. Giants relievers have the third-worst ERA in baseball at 6.26. Outside of closer Camilo Doval and setup man Tyler Rogers, the Giants are seeking more reliability from their remaining bullpen arms.
Probable Pitching Matchups
Friday, May 5 @ 9:15 p.m.: Corbin Burnes vs. Sean Manaea
Burnes is still trying to round into form after an inauspicious start to the year. He has posted a 1.85 ERA in his last four starts but has struck out just 23% of hitters faced in those outings. Burnes struck out five last Saturday against the Angels, scattering five hits across six innings of one-run ball.
Manaea has struggled while bouncing in and out of the Giants’ rotation. In six outings (four starts), he has limped to a 7.85 ERA and 7.61 FIP. Manaea has posted a solid 24% strikeout rate, but high walk and home run rates have been his undoing.
Saturday, May 6 @ 6:15 p.m.: Colin Rea vs. Alex Cobb
Rea is coming off his best start as a Brewer. He recorded a career-high nine strikeouts against the Angels in five innings on Sunday. The only damage he allowed came on a pair of solo home runs by Jake Lamb and Shohei Ohtani.
Cobb’s 2023 season is off to a strong start. The veteran right-hander owns a 2.43 ERA and 3.00 FIP in six starts. Cobb has issued just four walks in 33 1⁄3 innings.
Sunday, May 7 @ 3:05 p.m.: TBD vs. Ross Stripling
The Brewers have yet to announce a starter for Sunday, but Adrian Houser is the likeliest candidate after completing his rehab assignment.
Like Manaea, Stripling is another veteran who has toggled between starting and relieving for the Giants with lackluster results. In six games (three starts), he has pitched to a 6.10 ERA and 6.16 FIP. Stripling is coming off a solid start against the Houston Astros on Monday, throwing five innings with five strikeouts and two runs allowed.
A couple of matchups with struggling pitchers will give some struggling Brewers bats an opportunity to get back on track. However, the Rockies series demonstrated that Milwaukee’s run prevention unit is not immune to regression after skating by with one of baseball’s lowest strikeout rates in April. I’m expecting a 2-1 series win for the Giants.