The Milwaukee Brewers and the Cleveland Indians have two of the best relievers in the game. Josh Hader and Andrew Miller take on similar roles out of the bullpen.
Recently, Andrew Miller fell to injury. However, recent reports say that he might be ready for when the Milwaukee Brewers and Cleveland Indians square off on May 8th. That is a lot of high powered relieving coming from the left side in one game.
Expect a lot of strikeouts to happen when the two enter the game; both players average over 10 K/9 on their careers. One career is just starting, and one is a powerful veteran, but both can dominate pitchers.
The Dominant Lefty Blueprint
The two arms are the same in a lot of ways, but they are also extremely different. However, they are the epitome of dominance in relief from the left side. Each pitcher essentially attacks the hitter with a power fastball and wipeout slider. Josh Hader technically throws a changeup, though according to Fangraphs he has used it one percent of the time this year.
What is interesting is that each uses a different approach to get the job done. Miller throws more sliders. His percentages sit at about 60/40 in favor of the breaker. However, Hader relies on a fastball at about a 70/30 clip over his slider.
Are They Really That Similar?
Well, last year the Milwaukee Brewers organization was saying that Hader reminds them of Miller. So they cannot be that far off.
By some standards they are very similar pitchers. Their SIERA from a season ago was not that far off. Hader posted a 2.99, which is just a little bit higher than Miller’s 2.34. They strikeout a ton of guys and they will walk about three batters per nine on average. They also pull similar marks in every situation leverage stat (LI) that Fangraphs offers.
However, for every similarity, there seems to be just as much that makes them different. Hader creates significantly more fly balls than Miller. That likely has to do with the pitch usage. With experience and time, Hader might turn into Andrew Miller 2.0.
Josh Hader Vs. Andrew Miller
The young gun vs. the seasoned veteran. It is a tough call. The numbers from a full 2017 season point toward Miller, but Hader didn’t play all of that year. Early returns in 2018 say Hader, but Miller has been hurt. The best way to settle it might be a two inning pitch off between the powerhouse relievers.
Personal opinion: The Milwaukee Brewers southpaw with excellent hair gets the advantage if they square off.
Both are just dominant southpaws out of the bullpen. Unfortunately, by nature of their job description, there is no guarantee either pitcher will be used in the two game series. But, if they are used in the same game, hitters beware of what is to come. Fans in the stadium on that day should consider themselves extremely lucky.