Game 1 of the NL Wild Card round begins in Milwaukee with the Milwaukee Brewers hosting the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Milwaukee won the NL Central this season, going 92-70, and now it gets to take on a young Arizona team that exceeded expectations behind impressive rookie Corbin Carroll and Cy Young candidate Zac Gallen this season.
Gallen won’t start until Game 2 of this series, which could be a problem for the D-Backs since they'll face Corbin Burnes in Game 1. However, the D-Backs did get a break with Brandon Woodruff out for this series – and potentially the entire postseason – with a shoulder injury.
Rookie Brandon Pfaadt gets the ball for Arizona in Game 1, and the team needs to turn things around after limping into the playoffs with four straight losses to close the regular season.
Nobody expected the D-Backs to be here, but do they have the magic in them to beat this Milwaukee team?
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Diamondbacks vs. Brewers probable pitchers for Game 1
- Arizona: Brandon Pfaadt (righty): 3-9, 5.72 ERA
- Milwaukee: Corbin Burnes (righty): 10-8, 3.39 ERA
Diamondbacks vs. Brewers odds, run line and total
Diamondbacks vs. Brewers prediction and pick
This may be the most lopsided pitching matchup in the four Game 1s being played on Tuesday.
Burnes is a bonafide ace, and he closed the 2023 regular season strong, posting a 2.51 ERA in his final five starts in September.
Meanwhile, Pfaadt has been pushing a 6.00 ERA all season long, and he has a 5.18 Fielding Independent Pitching as well. He did pitch decently in September – 4.32 ERA in five starts – but he’s not Burnes.
That advantage on the mound goes beyond the starting pitching, though. The Brewers ranked No. 2 in Major League Baseball in bullpen ERA this season, an impressive mark. They have one of the best closers in baseball in Devin Williams, and they severely outrank the D-Backs in this category.
Arizona has a 4.22 bullpen ERA, so there may not be much of an upgrade once Pfaadt exits on Tuesday.
I am a little concerned about this Milwaukee offense – 23rd in OPS this season – but I can’t deny the distinct advantage the Brewers have on the mound. They’ll take care of business in what feels like a must-win Game 1 since Gallen is on the mound in Game 2.
Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
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