For the Milwaukee Brewers (11-9), the past week and a half has been absolutely incredible. A nine-game winning streak, although snapped, alongside major productivity from players who nobody thought would do much until the cavalry came back has been a huge part of the success. The Los Angeles Dodgers (10-11) on the other hand, it hasn’t been exactly smooth sailing for them. While the dream team does have 11 losses on the season and a plethora of pitching injuries, it’ll be interesting to see where they land as they host the Brewers.
Let’s get into it.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Coming into 2013, the Dodgers were by far supposed to be the best team on paper. With the additions of Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu and everyone they traded for last year from the Boston Red Sox, the Dodgers were thought to be the National League West champions. However, things haven’t exactly gone as planned. While Clayton Kershaw continues to dominate on the mound, the rest of the rotation is either hurt or just slacking behind. Greinke ended up on the disabled list with a broken collarbone, Chad Billingsley needs Tommy John surgery and Chris Capuano is on the DL due to a calf injury. Ryu has been a lukewarm starter, Josh Beckett has been ineffective, so the team is currently hoping Ted Lilly and Stephen Fife can hold the rotation down alongside Kershaw.
First baseman Adrian Gonzalez is leading the team in every category imaginable offensively, aside from outfielder Carl Crawford who leads in runs scored. Second baseman Mark Ellis has been hot at the plate with a .343 average and two homers with 11 RBIs. Catcher A.J. Ellis also has been pulling his weight for the team, hitting .304 with one home run and seven RBIs. The two names who have been off to slow starts are outfielders Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, but both will look to rebound sooner than later for the Dodgers.
Now that the Brewers have crashed down to Earth after their nine-game win streak was snapped, they’ll look to try to continue their consistent play. The pitching has been a huge part of the success, especially from the efforts of Kyle Lohse and Marco Estrada. The bullpen has been solid for the Brew Crew as well, and the combination of John Axford and Jim Henderson have been locked in. In the rotation, the biggest question mark surrounds Wily Peralta and Hiram Burgos, who both haven’t had much MLB experience.
The team offensively has been propelled by Jean Segura, Carlos Gomez and yes, even Yuniesky Betancourt. While Ryan Braun has usually been associated with the damage done for Milwaukee, he’s been striking out a lot more than anyone would like to see, but still has six homers on the year. Jonathan Lucroy and Norichika Aoki have cooled off a little bit for the team, but are still finding ways to get on base. Rickie Weeks has been the biggest concern as he is just looking lost at plate, only hitting .125 in the last week with nine strikeouts.
The Projected Match-Ups:
Milwaukee’s pitchers will be listed first followed by Los Angeles’: