Milwaukee losing Corbin Burnes to an oblique injury is a major, major blow. Burnes was having a full-on breakout season this year for Milwaukee and he will not have the opportunity, according to Counsell, to pitch against LA.
That said, Brandon Woodruff was electric his last time out against St. Louis, going eight innings with only two hits given up and 10 strikeouts. Milwaukee will need that version of Brandon Woodruff along with Adrian Houser and Brent Suter picking up the slack if they want a chance to take down the Dodgers.
Brent Suter will get the start in Game 1. He’s performed well in spot start roles this year and while he won’t go six or seven innings, he should be able to get four or five and hand it over to the dominant bullpen. As long as he keeps the Brewers in the game, he’ll have done his job.
Woodruff will get the ball in Game 2. If the Brewers lose Game 1, then they have their ace for an elimination game. If the Brewers win Game 1, then they have their ace for a possible clincher. Either way, it’s a great spot to have Woodruff on the mound.
As for L.A., their rotation features a nice blend of young stars and veteran leaders. Clayton Kershaw has been outstanding this season (6-2, 2.16 ERA, 0.8 WHIP). Walker Buehler, who will start Game 1, and Dustin May have both excelled for the most part, and Tony Gonsolin has been one of the most surprising players of this season (2.31 ERA in 8 starts).
Kershaw will start Game 2 against Brandon Woodruff and the last time those two pitched against each other in the postseason was Game 1 in 2018 and Woodruff hit a solo home run off Kershaw.
The Dodgers don’t have many, if any, weaknesses to point to. They’re the odds-on World Series favorite for good reason. This 3-game series will be telling in terms of Milwaukee’s resiliency, and I believe they will go out there and at least make things interesting.
As Craig Counsell said on Sunday: “There’s no reason to apologize for getting into the playoffs… We’ve got a chance to win the World Series.”