The Arizona Diamondbacks and the Milwaukee Brewers will conclude a three-game series Wednesday afternoon from Chase Field. The Brewers will give the starting nod to 25-year old right-hander Brandon Woodruff, and the Diamondbacks will counter with 27-year old right-hander Matt Koch. The Brewers won Monday’s series opener by a 7-2 score.
Woodruff Roughed Up By Rockies
Brandon Woodruff will make his seventh appearance and third start of the season, attempting to turn his season around. Woodruff was crushed by the Rockies in his previous start, surrendering seven runs on nine hits in three innings, however, he was bailed out by the Brewers bats and escaped with the no-decision. The young right-hander is struggling this season, conceding 11 runs on 19 hits in his 12.1 innings pitched. Woodruff posted a 4.81 ERA in eight starts with the Brewers last season. This will make his first career meeting against the Diamondbacks.
Lorenzo Cain is regularly reaching base in the leadoff position as of late, notching 11 hits in his last eight games, and he features a .348 on base percentage this month. The veteran center fielder is having a decent season with his new club, hitting .284 with five home runs and 13 RBI’s. Cain went 2 for 8 against the Diamondbacks last season, and 0-4 in Monday’s win. The Brewers are scoring an average of 3.98 runs, ranking them down at 26th in the Majors. The Milwaukee pitching features a solid 3.53 team ERA, pegging them seventh in the Major Leagues.
Koch Goes Eight Innings in Tough Loss to Nationals
Matt Koch will make his sixth start of the season, seeking his third consecutive Quality Start. Koch continued his excellent pitching last time out, holding the Nationals to three runs in eight innings, however, he was still charged with the loss to bring his record to 2-1. The young right-hander has been solid in all five starts, sporting a 2.43 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP in 33.1 innings of work. The only weakness from Koch has been home runs, allowing four homers over his last three starts. This will make his first career start against the Brewers.
Many of the D-Backs are struggling at the plate, however, A.J. Pollock continues to produce, driving in eight runs in his last nine games, and he is hitting .298 on the month. The 30-year old center fielder is enjoying a breakout season, sporting a .293 average with 11 homers and a team-leading 33 RBI’s. Pollock has driven in five runs in 15 career games against the Brewers. He is questionable for this one with a thumb injury. The Diamondbacks continue to falter at the plate, now averaging 4.05 runs, ranking them 24th in the Major Leagues. The Arizona pitching continues to shut down opponents, posting a 3.25 team ERA, good for second in all of baseball.
The Milwaukee Brewers are:
- No Key Trends
The Arizona Diamondbacks are:
- 12-4 in their last 16 games against a starter with a WHIP above 1.30.
- 17-7 in their last 24 games in the third game of a series.
I am taking the Diamondbacks in this one. Matt Koch has been excellent in all five of his starts this season, allowing three or fewer runs in each start, and he has been pitching deep into the game. Furthermore, Woodruff just served up seven runs on nine hits in his previous start, and this is a pitcher Arizona should hit-hard. Arizona’s bullpen also continues to shine, sporting a stifling 2.55 ERA. The Diamondbacks are overdue offensively and I am confident they can come away with a home win.
Pick: Arizona Diamondbacks
Woodruff was crushed in his previous start and I am confident the D-Backs bats can have a breakout night. Woodruff does own a poor 5.53 ERA in his 55.1 career innings pitched, and the Arizona bats are overdue for a breakout night, plus the over is 5-1 in Arizona’s last six home games against the Brewers. The Brewers bats are red-hot right now, scoring at least five runs in four out of their last five games.