Thursday, May 21, 2015

Hey look, the worst team in the NL is in town!

To start with, I'm not doing a recap of the two-game series. Here's your mini-recap: We split, and Williams Perez pitched much better than I expected. That's all the time a two-game interleague series deserves. Moving on to better things like a 4-gamer against the worst team in the MLB, the Milwaukee Brewers!

Game 1 - Teheran v. Garza
Game 2 - Wood v. Peralta
Game 3 - Miller v. Fiers
Game 4 - Foltynewicz v. Nelson

Ok, so because I did no recap I'm going deep on this preview. I feel like I haven't gotten to dig into anything for a couple of days. So let's evaluate these matchups starting with Teheran and Garza. Julio is coming off a win in Miami where he gave up 1 run in 5.2 innings. His ERA is at 4.33 and his WHIP is at 1.60 which is still ridiculously high. Julio is basically a rollercoaster right now. His last 4 starts have gone bad-good-bad-good. He needs to even out and avoid a bad start against a bad team in the Brewers. How bad you ask? The Brewers are 15-26 with the worst winning percentage in the NL. However, they are playing .500 ball in their last 10 games, so you can't just look past them. Individually, Julio has handled the Brewers lineup very well, holding them to a team .703 OPS, which is below average. However, Jean Segura stands out as the guy who really rakes Julio with a 4/9 lifetime and a homer. But wait, Segura is on the DL, so Julio won't have to face him. That's a good break. The last time Julio faced the Brewers was on May 20th of 2014, and he threw a complete game shutout. I'd love to see a repeat performance.

Matt Garza for the Brewers has been getting shelled, and his record reflects it. He's 2-5 on the year with a 5.72 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP. Honestly, if both these pitchers pitched to form in this matchup, the game could be 9-8 by the end. I hope that's not the case unless it's the Braves with the 9 on the board. Anyway, Garza is coming off a day against the Mets he'd love to forget where he got lit up for 10 runs. You're reading that right, 10 earned runs in 3.1 innings against the Mets. I guess the manager was just thinking, screw it, we're buried and this is your mess so you eat the innings. He left him in there for 68 pitches of that disaster. I have to think that really hurt Garza's pysche, or at least I'm hoping it did. Even better news is that the Braves have crushed him in the past. Garza faced the Braves twice in 2014 and lost both games. AJ Pierzynski has a .919 OPS off the guy with two homers. Which of course means that Fredi G is going to play Bethancourt because he hasn't played in a while. I'm starting to dislike Bethancourt because I think he's offensively inept. And I want to win games. Prove me wrong, kid!

Game 2 is puts Alex Wood back on the mound after finally getting a win. Alex has an ERA of 3.83 and he's been trending better for the last 3 games, even though he just got his first win since early April. Alex had one start against Milwaukee last year and won easily. This year looking at the Brewers available lineup, I see only one threat to Alex, Carlos Gomez. For those of you that remember, Gomez is the jackass who was talking smack the entire way around the bases after a homer, and that instigated Brian McCann going all NONE SHALL PASS at home plate. Look it up on YouTube, it's surreal. Wood faces Wily Peralta who lost an L in his first name when he came over from the Dominican. I blame customs. Peralta has a 1-5 record, a 4.32 ERA, and a 1.48 WHIP. One thing you'll notice is that most of the Brewers pitchers' stat lines look God-awful. You can't escape unscathed from this trainwreck of a team. Peralta's coming off a 5-run shelling from the Mets as well. The Mets apparently beat the tar out of this club.

What can I say about Shelby Miller that won't seem like I'm just tossing roses in his footsteps? The man is the best pitcher on the team, and I think he's the best pitcher in the NL right now. The stats back it up with his NL leading 1.33 ERA and 0.83 WHIP. Here's the other advantage, Shelby used to be a Cardinal, and he's seen this Brewers lineup a ton. And you know what? HE OWNS THEM. To the tune of a .635 OPS across the lineup. In the last 3 years, Shelby's had 8 starts against the Brewers, 5 wins, no losses, and a 2.20 ERA. <Tosses bouquets at Shelby> Meanwhile, Mike Fiers will oppose Shelby with a record of, you guessed it, 1-4 and a 4.75 ERA. I'll give you a hint, no starter we see from the Brewers has more than 2 wins. The Braves haven't faced Fiers so I honestly have no idea what to expect, other than the fact his ERA says he sucks.

The final game is Folty and Nelson. Mike Foltynewicz got roughed up by Tampa Bay on what I considered to be some pretty good pitches. But they just kept dinking and dunking him to death for 5 earned runs on 8 hits and a walk. The WHIP is still a gigantic concern for me at 1.73, and I honestly can't take any starter seriously as long at that number is above 1.50. Yes, you can put runners on and get away with it, but you're playing Russian roulette every time two guys touch a base in an inning. Mike's obviously never seen the Brewers because he's brand new to the MLB, so this should be interesting to see how he does against a slumping lineup. Jimmy Nelson for the Brewers really dominated Detroit in an unexpected 8 inning 1-run win. That's on the heels of him giving up 17 runs in his last 4 starts. I think that Detroit win is the anomaly, not the norm. He's never seen the Braves before either, so hopefully they can give him a little of what he's used to, a bunch of runs against.

CPA Predictions:

CPA was right that it would be a split, but it got the games backwards. Womp womp, 0-2 on the series. 14-21 now on the picks, and a -11.20 units. We're going to follow this Titanic all the way to the bottom, don't you worry! Never give up, never surrender!

Game 1 - Braves by 2
Game 2 - Braves by 1
Game 3 - Braves by 3
Game 4 - Brewers by 2

CPA thinks we win the series 3 out of 4, and I like that. Normally I say split the series, but this Brewers team is awful. You go for the throat here. You go for the gusto.

GO BRAVES!

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