The Brewers return home following a strong 7-3 road trip featuring series wins over the Guardians, Mets, and Pirates. Heading into the All-Star break, Milwaukee has four games against the Cubs and three games against the Reds, the other top teams in the NL Central. Milwaukee heads into the four-game set with the Cubs tied for first with the Reds, with Chicago trailing by 5.5 games.
Monday, July 3 @ 1:10 p.m.: Julio Teheran vs. Drew Smyly
Teheran gets the ball to kick off the series with the Cubs, coming off his worst start in a Brewers uniform against the Mets last week (seven runs on seven hits over 5 2⁄3 innings). He’ll look to get back on track against Chicago at home, where he’s 1-1 with a 1.57 ERA over 23 innings (four starts).
Smyly has been solid in his two seasons with the Cubs, totaling a 3.47 ERA in 22 starts in 2022 and a 3.96 ERA through 16 starts in 2023. His last start was also a rough one, as he allowed seven runs across just 3 2⁄3 innings in a loss to the Phillies. After a strong 3.15 ERA through the end of May, Smyly had a 5.81 ERA across five starts in June, giving up 17 runs over 26 1⁄3 innings.
Tuesday, July 4 @ 3:10 p.m.: Wade Miley vs. Kyle Hendricks
In three starts since returning from the injured list in June, Miley has a 1.20 ERA, allowing just two runs across 15 innings in three Brewers victories. His last time out against the Mets was the worst of those three starts, as he lasted just four innings and allowed two runs on three hits and three walks with three strikeouts. He has a 3.02 ERA and a 5-2 record through 11 starts with Milwaukee this season.
After an injury delayed Hendricks’ season, he’s had a bit of a resurgence through seven starts in May and June, pitching to a strong 2.81 ERA over 41 2⁄3 innings, which would mark his best ERA since the pandemic-shortened 2020 season when he finished with a 2.88 ERA over 12 starts. He allowed three runs on six hits and no walks with four strikeouts across seven innings in his last start against the Phillies.
Wednesday, July 5 @ 7:10 p.m.: Adrian Houser vs. Justin Steele
Houser has had a bounce-back season after a rough 2022, totaling a 3.88 ERA across 10 appearances (eight starts). After a pair of relief appearances in mid-June, Houser returned to the rotation in the series finale with the Mets, totaling six innings and allowing two runs on seven hits and one walk with five strikeouts.
Steele has had a breakout campaign, earning an All-Star appearance with a 2.43 ERA across 15 starts. He’s been particularly consistent, totaling at least six innings in 11 of his 15 starts. In a no-decision against the Brewers back in April, Steele went six scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and one walk with eight strikeouts.
Thursday, July 6 @ 1:10 p.m.: Freddy Peralta vs. Marcus Stroman
Peralta has been very hot and cold all season, totaling a 4.67 ERA through 16 starts this season, although he’s still been racking up strikeouts, with 97 across 86 2⁄3 innings. His last time out against the Pirates, he finished with a no-decision, allowing three runs on three hits and two walks with eight strikeouts over 5 1⁄3 innings.
Like Steele, Stroman has had a strong season, earning an All-Star game appearance. With a 2.76 ERA over 18 starts, Stroman has also had success going deep into games, going at least six innings in 14 of his 18 games. His last time out against the Guardians, he got the loss after allowing five runs on five hits and two walks with strikeouts over 5 2⁄3 innings. He earned the win against Milwaukee back on Opening Day, totaling six innings and allowing no runs on three hits and three walks with eight strikeouts.
Given Milwaukee’s struggles against lefties (Smyly and Steele) and the fact that the Cubs have arguably their best pitchers lined up to face against the Crew, I’ll take a 2-2 series split in Milwaukee over the holiday week. I think Milwaukee can keep the momentum from a strong road trip to sneak away with two wins before welcoming the Reds to town.