The Milwaukee Brewers took care of business at Miller Park, winning the first two games of the NLDS to take a 2-0 series lead over the Colorado Rockies. But the Brewers will have to continue playing well if they hope to close out the series in Colorado and avoid a Game 5 back in Milwaukee.
At home this season the Rockies have been a very difficult team to play against. Located in the high altitude of Denver, Colorado, Coors Field is known as being a very hitter friendly ballpark. And the Rockies offensive stats at home in 2018 reflect that.
Colorado has recorded 47 wins at Coors Field this season, which was fourth best in the NL. As a team they have a slash line of .287/.350/.503, and an OPS of .852. They’ve also been able to hit 119 home runs and average a whopping 5.5 runs per game at home.
Through the first two games of the series, the Brewers pitching staff has carried this team but at Coors Field, the bats will need to heat up.
German Marquez in Game 3
Taking the mound in games three and four of the NLDS will be German Marquez and Kyle Freeland, two very difficult opposing pitchers for the Milwaukee Brewers to face.
German Marquez had a very nice season for the Rockies and was another consistent starter in their rotation, making 33 starts on the year.
During 2018, Marquez posted an ERA of 3.77, a WHIP of 1.204 and held opponents to a batting average of .241. Marquez was also able to record 230 strikeouts on the season which was good for fourth best overall in the NL.
But unlike Freeland, Marquez hasn’t fared as well at the hitter friendly Coors Field. His ERA jumps to 4.74 and his opponents are batting .284 against him over his 16 starts at home.
Marquez has started one game against the Milwaukee Brewers this season and Milwaukee was able to rough him up during that outing. Marquez was only able to last for 4.2 innings, where he gave up 12 hits, 3 walks, and 5 runs. The Brewers went on to win that game 5-2.
Kyle Freeland in Game 4
All season long, Kyle Freeland has been the Rockies best pitcher and posted a record of 17-7 this season. Over Freeland’s 33 starts, he has an ERA of 2.85, with a WHIP of 1.245, has allowed just 17 home runs and opponents are batting .240 against him.
What makes Freeland’s stats even more impressive is that he has put these numbers up while making 15 starts at Coors Field where he actually has a lower ERA of 2.40 verse 3.23 on the road.
The Brewers have faced Freeland once this season and lost 4-0. Freeland dominated the game, throwing 6.1 innings while giving up just four hits, striking out six batters and not allowing any runs.
Brewers at Coors Field
Of the seven times that these two teams matched up this season, four of them took place at Coors Field. The Brewers were able to have a lot of success during that series. Milwaukee took three out of the four games and were able to average 5.75 runs per game.
It will be a tough task for the Brewers pitchers to have similar success at Coors Field as they did at Miller Park, so it will be critical that the offense is able to put runs on the board and take advantage of scoring opportunities as they were able to do earlier in the season.
Can the Brewers clinch?
Absolutely they can win the NLDS in Colorado, in fact, I expect them to.
Although they will be facing a Rockies team that is very good at home and two pitchers that have the ability to dominate any game, the Brewers are the better team.
The Brewers have had success this season at Coors Field offensively and against German Marquez, I am anticipating that the bats will come alive this series at Coors Field and will help lead Milwaukee to a series clinching victory.
This is a very confident Milwaukee Brewers team and that will show on the field in Colorado.