clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Series Preview: Milwaukee Brewers vs. Miami Marlins

A pair of National League playoff contenders square off at American Family Field

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Milwaukee Brewers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

After an up-and-down road trip to Pittsburgh and New York, the Brewers return home for a four-game series against the Miami Marlins.

This is the first of two matchups between the clubs during the 2023 regular season. They will play each other again in Miami from September 22-24.

Both the Brewers and Marlins are in the thick of the National League playoff race, although the former enters the series in a more favorable position.

The Brewers lead the NL Central by three games over the Cubs. FanGraphs gives Milwaukee a 99.2% chance of making the playoffs and an 84.6% chance of winning the division.

The Marlins reside in third place in the NL East, 19.5 games behind the NL-leading Braves. FanGraphs pegs them with a 31.4% chance of cracking the playoff bracket as a Wild Card team. The Marlins sit half a game behind the Arizona Diamondbacks for the final spot.

A -46 run differential casts some doubt on whether Miami can sneak its way into a postseason. Still, a 74-69 record with an outside chance at a playoff birth represents a step forward for Miami under first-year manager Skip Schumaker.

Reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara remained the leader of the pitching staff until the start of September, but a forearm injury has put the remainder of his season in jeopardy. When healthy, he looked more like a solid innings eater than an ace in 2023, posting a 4.14 ERA and 4.04 FIP in 184 23 innings.

In Alcantara’s absence, the Marlins will lean on Jesus Luzardo, Braxton Garrett, and rookie Eury Perez to lead the pitching staff. Veteran Johnny Cueto is also on hand to cover some innings, but he has struggled to a 6.15 ERA and 6.63 FIP while missing much of the year due to injury.

In the bullpen, A.J. Puk has served as Schumaker’s primary closer for much of the season, but his struggles led the Marlins to acquire David Robertson from the New York Mets at the trade deadline. Robertson has struggled mightily and quickly lost his grip on a high-leverage role, leaving Tanner Scott as the next man up in the ninth inning. Steven Okert and Andruw Nardi have also played valuable roles in relief.

The Marlins have struggled offensively for much of the season but added some firepower at the trade deadline. Josh Bell and Jake Burger have posted respective OPS marks of .855 and .875 since coming to Miami. Luis Arraez, who chased a .400 batting average during the first half of the season, remains the club’s most consistent hitter. Jesus Sanchez and Jorge Soler (currently on the injured list) have also provided thump at corner outfield and designated hitter.

Probable Pitching Matchups

Monday, September 11 @ 6:40 p.m.: Brandon Woodruff vs. Jesus Luzardo

Woodruff is coming off seven excellent innings against the Pirates on September 5. He allowed two hits, walked two, and struck out six.

In his last outing, Luzardo held the Los Angeles Dodgers to two runs on four hits in six innings. He owns a 3.59 ERA and 3.65 FIP in 28 starts this season.

Tuesday, September 12 @ 6:40 p.m.: Freddy Peralta vs. TBD

The Marlins have yet to announce a starter for Tuesday, but the Brewers will send Freddy Peralta to the mound. Peralta hit a speed bump in his last outing against the Pirates, allowing three runs in 5 13 innings in a loss that saw the Brewers cede a 3-0 lead.

Wednesday, September 13 @ 6:40 p.m.: TBD vs. Braxton Garrett

It’s the Brewers who do not have a probable starter announced for Wednesday, but signs point toward them activating Adrian Houser from the injured list. If Houser is not ready to return, Colin Rea could get another start.

Garrett owns a 3.82 ERA and 3.69 FIP in 143 23 innings this season. Inefficiency limited him to 3 23 innings in his last start, as he walked three and threw 92 pitches.

Thursday, September 14 @ 1:10 p.m.: TBD vs. TBD

Neither team has announced a probable starter for the series finale, but Wade Miley would be lined up to start if the Brewers stick to their usual rotation. Miley lasted 3 23 innings in his last start against the Yankees, allowing two runs (one earned) on a hit and three walks with three strikeouts.


The Brewers have a chance to win any series in which they send two of their best arms to the mound, but the offense will be going up against a pair of solid starters. The Marlins have also gone 8-2 in the last 10 games and are fighting to climb into a playoff spot. I’m predicting a split in a series of close games.