The Brewers enter the series against the Yankees with a slim lead over the Chicago Cubs for the division lead. The Yankees have had a severely underwhelming season, sitting at 69-69 and in the cellar of the AL East. They still have some dangerous players, so Milwaukee will need to be careful as they try to fend off the Cubs.
Milwaukee has been able to find offensive production from a multitude of sources, the most important of which are Christian Yelich and William Contreras, who are the leaders of the offense. Mark Canha and Carlos Santana have also fit in nicely with the offense after being traded to the Brewers at the deadline.
Gleyber Torres has been the Yankees' most consistent hitter this season, hitting .272/.339/.466 with 24 home runs. Obviously, Aaron Judge can cause significant problems for opposing pitchers as he is still one of the most dangerous hitters in the league, leading the team with 31 homers despite playing in only 84 games. Jasson Dominguez is also one of the most hyped prospects of the season, and after being called up last week, he has been an exciting player so far.
Probable Pitching Matchups
Friday, September 8 @ 6:05 p.m.: Colin Rea (5-5) vs. Luis Severino (4-8)
Colin Rea is back on the mound for the Brewers as a fill-in for Adrian Houser after he recently injured his elbow. Rea has been up and down this year but has had some good outings, although his ERA sits at 5.07 through 21 appearances (20 starts).
Severino was supposed to be one of New York’s best pitchers this year, but has struggled, posting a 6.75 ERA and allowing a team-worst 22 home runs this season in just 17 starts. Milwaukee might be able to get some runs across against him.
Saturday, September 9 @ 1:05 p.m.: Wade Miley (7-4) vs. Michael King (4-5)
Wade Miley has been better than advertised for the Brewers this year, putting up outing after outing holding down the fort as one of the best number four pitchers in the league. While he has dealt with injuries, his ERA of 3.33 through 19 starts has helped keep Milwaukee in the win column this season.
After primarily being used as a reliever early in the season, Michael King has transitioned into a starter for the Yankees, including three starts in his last three outings. He has a 2.88 ERA through 44 appearances (four starts) this season.
Sunday, September 10 @ 12:35 p.m.: Corbin Burnes (9-8) vs. TBD
Burnes has gotten more or less back on track post-All-Star break, showing flashes of his Cy Young form. Corbin struggled in his last outing, allowing four runs in five innings, so he’ll hope for a bounce-back performance in New York.
The Yankees have not yet announced a starter for the last game of the series, but Gerrit Cole seems to be the likely starter given that he started on Tuesday night against the Tigers. Cole is once again in the Cy Young conversation despite having never won it before, as he leads the AL with a 2.90 ERA and 195 strikeouts through 180 innings this season.
Milwaukee’s bullpen has continued to be solid this season, with Devin Williams capping it off as the Brewers star reliever. Joel Payamps and Elvis Peguero have emerged from relatively unknown arms into high-leverage relievers. Hoby Milner and Bryse Wilson have also had some great outings in high-leverage spots.
Jonathan Loaisiga has been a stud since returning from injury for the Yankees this season, posting a 0.56 ERA in his 15 appearances. Tommy Kahnle (2.57 ERA) and the aforementioned King have also had good seasons for New York so far, while Wandy Peralta and Clay Holmes lead the team in appearances with 58 and 57, respectively. Holmes is the team’s primary closer, completing 17 of 20 save opportunities successfully.
Despite a rough series loss to the Pirates earlier in the week, I think Milwaukee will bounce back to take two of three from the Yankees as they hang onto first place for the time being.