The Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Chicago Cubs in their Game 163 tiebreaker on Monday. That automatically advances them to the NLDS.
What a win that was. A clutch 3-1 win was led by a great outing from Jhoulys Chacin, who went 5.2 innings, allowing only one run. The Milwaukee Brewers have secured home field advantage through the NL playoffs.
Now that the regular season is over, it’s time to look at the playoff rotation. How will it line up for the initial out-getters. While Chacin has proven to be the best starting pitcher in the rotation this season, since he just went on Monday, he’s unavailable to start the series against the Wild Card winner.
Projected Starter – Wade Miley
Miley has shown himself to be the Crew’s second best starter this season, despite a few hiccups over his final two starts. Having last pitched on Saturday, Thursday is lined up as regular rest for Miley. With his 2.57 ERA this season in 16 starts, he’s earned the nod.
While the Brewers don’t know their opponent just yet, it will be either the Rockies or the Cubs.
Against the Rockies back on August 5th, Miley went five innings allowing three runs. To that point, it was the most runs Miley allowed in a Brewers uniform.
Miley started twice against the Cubs in September. In his first start, he went six strong innings allowing only three hits one run, and no walks. In his second start, Miley went five innings allowing two runs and three walks. The Milwaukee Brewers won both games.
Projected Starter – Gio Gonzalez
Since joining the Milwaukee Brewers, Gio Gonzalez has been fantastic. Through five starts, he owns a 2.13 ERA and the change of scenery from Washington to Milwaukee appears to have helped him get back on track. He’s a logical pick for Game 2.
Gonzalez pitched Game 162 for the Brewers, a critical one they needed to win, and he went five shutout innings. He could’ve gone longer, but his turn in the lineup came up and was pinch hit for. That was a big game and that’s the exact reason they acquired him.
With his wealth of postseason experience and the fact that Friday would be regular rest for Gio from his previous start on Sunday, this makes a ton of sense to go with him for Game 2.
Projected Starter – Jhoulys Chacin
Chacin would’ve been the pick for Game 1 had the Brewers won the division outright. But it came to a tiebreaker game on Monday to win it, and Chacin would be unavailable for the first few games of the NLDS. Game 3 allows him to take those days of rest.
He’s been the Crew’s best starter all season and he’s going to be the key third piece in the Brewers playoff rotation. This game would be on the road away from Miller Park. If it’s at Chicago, he’s obviously just had recent success at Wrigley Field (Miller Park South*) and that should bode well. If it’s in Colorado, he’s had some success there as well this season.
Back on May 10th, Chacin went 5.1 innings allowing only two runs in a 5-2 Brewers victory. Granted, that was a much different Rockies team than they could face now.
Game 4 (If Necessary)
Projected Starter – Zach Davies
If there’s going to be a fourth man in the starting rotation, my guess would be Zach Davies getting the ball. I’m not as confident in that pick as I would like to be but Chase Anderson got skipped over for his final start of the season and he’s the only other rotation guy from September. So Davies likely gets the ball as the fourth starter.
Since returning in September, Davies has been serviceable. He hasn’t gone deeper than five innings and went four innings in his final two starts. He was roughed up in the first inning by the Tigers but bounced back nicely.
I think these four starting pitchers are the ones Milwaukee Brewers fans are going to see in October. Anderson I believe is out of the rotation and Guerra and Peralta will be used as bullpen pieces only.
The Brewers will be seen by many as the favorites in the National League now that they’re the top seed. Despite not having a star studded rotation, this group has been able to get the job done so far.