Reds vs. Brewers: Pitching preview, prediction, and more

CINCINNATI, OHIO - MAY 23: Tyler Stephenson #37 of the Cincinnati Reds tags out Luis Urias #2 of the Milwaukee Brewers. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - MAY 23: Tyler Stephenson #37 of the Cincinnati Reds tags out Luis Urias #2 of the Milwaukee Brewers. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Corbin Burnes #39 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches.
NEW YORK, NY – JULY 7: Corbin Burnes #39 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /

Milwaukee has ridden strong starting pitching to the top.

It’s no coincidence Milwaukee has two members of their starting rotation, Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff, in the All-Star Game next week. The Brewers rotation ranks second in the National League with 41 quality starts as play began yesterday.

Right-handers Woodruff and Freddy Peralta rank fourth and seventh respectively in the senior circuit in ERA. In addition, if he tossed a handful of more innings, Burnes would place directly behind Peralta in the ERA race.

One area that has not been as air-tight is the Brewers bullpen. Milwaukee ranks ninth in the NL with a 63% save rate. In addition, the 42 holds compiled by the relief corps places them ninth as well among the league’s bullpens. It may sound strange, but perhaps getting to the Brewers bullpen isn’t such a bad thing.

Milwaukee has needed every bit of their strong rotation because the bats have produced feeble results at best. The Beer Makers entered play yesterday with an National League worst .220 team batting average.

To be fair, this is a banged-up Brewers’ lineup. Four regulars, Lorenzo Cain, Travis Shaw, Daniel Vogelbach, and Kolten Wong, are on the IL with various ailments. Cain, a two-time All-Star and former Gold Glove winner, has appeared in only 31 games this season due to a strained right hamstring.

However, general manager Matt Arnold is never one to miss an opportunity to upgrade the roster.  Earlier this week, the club acquired a left-handed bat in Rowdy Tellez from the Toronto Blue Jays to replace Vogelbach. Don’t get too worried Reds Country. Tellez compiled a weak .209/.272/.338 slash line in 139 at-bats with the Jays.