Milwaukee Brewers: Jimmy Nelson vs. Chris Archer

MILWAUKEE, WI - JULY 04: Jimmy Nelson
MILWAUKEE, WI - JULY 04: Jimmy Nelson /

In the series finale in Tampa Bay, the Milwaukee Brewers will send their ace Jimmy Nelson to the hill looking for a sweep.  Nelson will face off against the ace of the Tampa Bay staff, Chris Archer.

This is a very intriguing match up of two top starters who have hard fastballs and dirty sliders. Both are leading pitching staffs that, overall,are doing very well as of late, especially the Brewers.

Going into Sunday’s game, the Brewers have a 1.82 team ERA over their last eight games, which is the best in all of baseball over that span. This includes two straight shutouts of this Tampa Bay team to start the series.

Here’s how the stats match up, Jimmy Nelson has the better ERA at 3.37 compared to Archer’s 3.89, however Chris Archer has a big edge in strikeouts. Archer has 182 compared to Jimmy’s 149.

The Milwaukee Brewers should feel very confident after shutting the Rays out twice in a row, and now sending their ace out to the hill, right? Well, not necessarily. The Brewers offense is not doing well right now. They have only scored more than three runs just four times in their last 19 games. That is not how a team wants to come into a match up with Rays ace Chris Archer.

However, if the Rays continue to struggle like they have over the last two days, one or two runs may be all they need to beat Archer, no matter how well he pitches. Also, the Milwaukee Brewers will look to get Archer’s pitch count up to get to the bullpen. They’ve had more success against the Rays relief corps in this series than the starters.

The Brewers also may try and push Nelson to go as deep as he can. Relievers Cory Knebel, Anthony Swarzak, Jacob Barnes have been used in high leverage situations a lot lately. Nelson is certainly capable of eight or nine innings, but the Brewers ace needs to be up to the task.

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What makes this match up so interesting is that one mistake could be the difference in the game. Both pitchers will have to be on their A-game in order to earn a W.