The Brewers face a tough matchup this weekend in the Cleveland Indians. A little of that familiar September magic would help in their quest for a series win.
Over the past few seasons, September has been very kind to the Milwaukee Brewers. This is due in large part to the typical roster expansions that occur and the strategic managing by Craig Counsell.
However, 2020 is a different animal. This season, rosters will not expand, which makes this weekend’s three game set against the current American League Central-leading Cleveland Indians a much bigger test for the Brewers than they might have experienced in previous years.
The Indians enter this weekend’s series with a 23-14 record. The Brewers, on the other hand, are currently sitting at 17-19, which is good for third in the National League Central, and are 1-1 so far in September.
While these two teams have very different records, offensively they have both struggled to find consistency and production this year. Both the Indians and the Brewers rank near the bottom of the MLB in team batting average, team on base percentage, and team on base plus slugging.
Pitching is primarily what separates these two teams. To date the Indians currently have the lowest team WHIP (1.03), least amount of walks allowed (92), 2nd best team ERA (2.74), 2nd highest amount of strikeouts (377), and third lowest batting average against (.210).
The biggest pitching matchup to watch will be Sunday when the Indians give the ball to their ace Shane Bieber. In his last start, Bieber set an MLB record for the most amount of strikeouts (82) in the first 50 innings pitched during a season.
While the rest of the Cleveland Indians pitching staff possesses great swing and miss stuff as well, the Brewers offense is going to have to capitalize on their chances if they want to win this weekend’s series. Getting hits with runners in scoring position has been a big problem for the Brewers lately, and that is going to have to change this series.
Given how dominant the Indians pitching staff has been so far, and the overall lackluster performances of both these teams offenses, a run or two each game may be enough to escape with a few victories.
This is of course assuming that the Brewers pitching staff can limit early innings runs, especially any crooked numbers. When you have two teams who are struggling offensively, the last thing you want to do is dig a big hole early on, which the Brewers seem to be good at doing so far in 2020.
While this series likely is not make or break for the Brewers, another series loss will put much more urgency to win in their upcoming games as we sprint to the finish line in 2020. Game 1 of the three-game series begins tonight 6:10 CST.