Brewers News

Milwaukee Brewers: Starting Wade Miley in Game 3?

Matthew Dewoskin
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 23: Wade Miley #20 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers a pitch in the first inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on September 23, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 23: Wade Miley #20 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers a pitch in the first inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on September 23, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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The Milwaukee Brewers announced that Wade Miley will start Game 3 of the NLDS against the Colorado Rockies. Is this the best idea to wrap up the series?

With a 2-0 lead in the NLDS, the Milwaukee Brewers are in the driver’s seat to win the series. However, they’ve announced Wade Miley as the starting pitcher for Game 3. Should Miley really start a possible elimination game…on the road…in Colorado?

Why are there concerns over Miley?

While the actual numbers for Miley in 2018 are solid, the peripheral data indicates that he’s due to regress…hard. Miley owns a 2.57 actual ERA with a 4.30 xFIP. This means that he’s pitched more like a 4.30 ERA pitcher than a 2.57 ERA pitcher.

He only has a 5.58 K/9, and a 3.38 BB/9. This means that he strikes out to few, and walks too many. He also made it through the 2018 season with a 5.2% HR:FB ratio, while his career average is 12.2%. Miley has been really lucky on balls hit in the air.

How does Miley pitch in Colorado?

Miley has made five appearances and four starts at Coors Field. He’s worked 28 1/3 innings and has a 4.76 ERA. He’s struck out 16 and walked 10 while allowing two homers.

Is there a reason Miley’s been so successful in 2018?

Miley started throwing a cutter in 2018, and it’s made a huge difference in his results. Miley has also essentially given up on his slider, reduced his fastball usage from over 50% to under 25%, and he’s relied more on his breaking stuff.

He’s gone from a pitcher who tends to keep the ball on the ground to an extreme ground ball pitcher.

Before he started throwing the cutter, he usually posted a GB:FB ratio around 1.50. This year with the cutter? He’s managed a 2.24 GB:FB ratio with a 52.8% groundball rate.

Next. What were our predictions for the NLDS?. dark

Miley’s ability to keep the ball on the ground was a huge factor in choosing him to start in Colorado. The Milwaukee Brewers lack a top flight starter, so they have to put themselves in the best situations they can with the pitchers on their roster. Miley profiles as the type of starter who should be able to handle the thin air of Colorado. He’s not an ideal option, but his profile makes sense for this start, and the Brewers could close out the series if he can keep the ball in the ballpark.

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