Sunday, August 2, 2009

Brewers-Dodgers Series Preview

The Brewers finish off their west coast road swing by going to L.A. for a 3-game series against the Dodgers........

Brewers (52-53, 7.7% playoff chances)
Dodgers (64-40 92.3% playoff chances)

The Pitching Match-Ups are as follows:

Manny Parra (5-8 6.50era 65 ERA+) vs. Clayton Kershaw (8-5 2.76 era 151 era+)

This game will depend on whether Parra pitches up to his potential or whether he pitches down to his early season performance that got him sent down to Nashville. Considering that Dodger hitters have hit him to the tune of .302/.388/.419 for their careers. Chances are the latter (struggling) Parra will make an apperance.

The Dodgers have young Clayton Kershaw going for the Dodgers. He's having a strong season and has the Brewers number. Current Brewers hitters have hit .184 against him. Despite this dominance Kershaw hasn't pitched more than 6 innings against the Crew in his last couple starts due to high pitch counts. If they Brewers are going to make a game out of this, it's likely to happen in the late innings than early on.

Yovani Gallardo (10-7 3.13 era 134 ERA+) vs. Hiroki Kuroda (3-5 4.44 era 94ERA+)

This match-up looks one-sided in the Brewers favor on the surface considering Gallardo is the one dependable Brewers starter. However, the Dodgers did hit him pretty well when the Dodgers came to Miller Park. This wasn't an aberration as Dodger hitters have hit .310 against him lifetime. For the Brewers the main upside is that Gallardo has returned to form the last couple starts after struggling a bit in June.

On the other hand, Kuroda has put up fairly pedestrian numbers but like Kershaw...the Brewers have struggled against him to the tune of .214/.250/.357

Braden Looper (9-5 5.03 era 84 ERA+) vs. Jason Schmidt (2-1 4.50 era 93 ERA+)

While neither of these pitchers are having great seasons, i wouldn't be suprised if this ended up being a pitcher's duel. Dodgers hitters are hitting .175 against Looper and Brewers hitters have hit .159 against Jason Schmidt............

What I think will happen: The Brewers will probably struggle to score runs in this series as they have struggled at Dodger stadium and against all three pitchers that they are going up against. The Dodgers will probably take Monday's game behind a strong performance from Clayton Kershaw. Gallardo will probably overcome his struggles against the Dodgers and win a low-scoring game on Tuesday. The Wednesday game is pretty much a push but in light of Looper's recent struggles I don't realistically see him outdueling Schmidt.

Hopefully Parra and Looper will prove me wrong and pitch better than expected and possibly cut into their 4 1/2 game deficit while spending the next few days in SoCal.........

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