The Milwaukee Brewers take on the Philadelphia Phillies in game three of their four-game series from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. The Phillies, even despite having a lull in their play over the weekend against the Mets, have put together a great start to the series against the Brewers, winning the opener 4-3 and taking game two as well. The pitching was expected to be a story for the Brewers, who have one of the best rotations in baseball, but the Phillies have held it down themselves on the mound to stay in this series. The Brewers are still right near the top of the divisional standings in the NL Central, but can’t afford to get swept at the hand of the Phillies. The Phillies on the other hand look strong in a weak NL East and the recent success over Milwaukee has only helped them to stay atop of the tightening pack. The Brewers will definitely feel the pressure as Wednesday night rolls around, while the Phillies will be playing with fire in game three. Which team will see things through in game three on Wednesday night?
Brewers Searching For OffenseMilwaukee continues to struggle scoring runs, which has been an issue for them all season long but hasn’t been a massive problem due to their pitching. This series has been slightly different given the Phillies' ability to score some runs and shut down the Milwaukee offense. The Brewers still have Travis Shaw leading the way on offense on the season, behind his team-leading five home runs and 22 RBI, while Luis Urias leadings in batting average, hitting .233 as the team has had to consistently juggle the lineup due to injuries. Kolten Wong has steadily raised his average of late, while Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich are welcomed additions back to the lineup on an everyday basis. Monday’s opener saw Lorenzo Cain homer, while Shaw and Avisail Garcia contributed an RBI each. In Tuesday's game, Wong was able to raise his average above .300, while four different players helped produce runs and Jackie Bradley Jr. provided some pop with a two-run home run. The Brewers' offense will need another complete performance in game three, combined with some strong pitching to turn around the series.
Vogey drives Kolten home!— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) May 4, 2021
It's 1-0 Brew Crew. pic.twitter.com/Ottj5JhryG
According to MLB.com, Freddy Peralta will get the ball on Wednesday to try to right the ship, in what has been a remarkable season for the righty. Peralta is fourth in baseball with a 40.2 percent strikeout rate and will be excited to take on this strikeout happy Philadelphia offense. Peralta showed flashes of brilliance in the past, but this season has been a great turnaround for him. He’s 3-0 on the season so far, with a 2.25 ERA across five starts. In 28 total innings, he’s only allowed 14 hits and seven runs, while striking 45, which is nearly as many as he struck out in all of 2020. One issue has been his command, allowing 14 walks, but if he cleans that up, there’s no reason to think he won’t be an All-Star by mid-season. His best start probably came last time out, allowing only a home run and a walk-in six innings to the Dodgers.
His last start against the Phillies came all the way back in 2019 when he got the start in a 7-4 road loss to them. In that game, Peralta ended up with a no-decision and allowed seven hits and one earned run in four innings of work. Philadelphia hitters have only faced Peralta 21 times, according to ESPN, with seven hits, which is good for a .240 batting average. His command has been surprisingly good against the potential hitters he’ll see on Wednesday, allowing only a single walk and striking out eight. Peralta will have plenty of confidence coming into the start and a little pressure as well won’t do anything to get him off his game.
Phillies Riding MomentumThe Phillies have found themselves living life on the edge after back-to-back one-run wins over the Brewers to start off the series. With the quick mid-week start, the Phillies find themselves atop the NL East standings and they’ll certainly want to stay there once the weekend rolls around. The Phillies have a little more balance and consistency than the Brewers do right now, with three different players leading the three main offensive categories. Rhys Hoskins and Bryce Harper continue to lead the offense behind Hoskins’ eight home runs and Harper’s .317 batting average. One surprise so far has been Didi Gregorius, who leads the team with 18 RBI. So far in the series, it’s been J.T. Realmuto and Andrew McCutchen leading the way. On Monday, Realmuto had a two-run homer in the first inning to set the tone, followed by two home runs by McCutchen on Tuesday to get the Phillies off to a quick start in the series. If those two keep it up and Hoskins and Harper start to get it going on Wednesday, the Brewers could be in trouble in games three and four.
According to MLB.com, Chase Anderson will get his sixth start of the season on Wednesday against his former club after spending four seasons in Milwaukee between 2016 and 2019. Anderson has been able to give the Phillies quite a bit of depth on his starts this year, even though he only sits at 1-3 on the year with a 5.40 ERA and 19 strikeouts overall. His spring training really set the tone for some depth, getting 14.2 innings of work and going 2-1. His best start this year though came last time out against the Mets over the weekend. In the win he tossed five innings of five-hit baseball, striking out six and only allowing one run in the process.
Anderson has limited experience against the Brewers, mainly due to the fact that he was with them and will be making his first start against his old squad. Against current Milwaukee hitters, Anderson has 34 at-bats against them, with 19 of those against Kolton Wong, according to ESPN. Milwaukee hitters have a .292 average against Anderson all-time and have struck out eight times without gathering even a single walk.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Brewers haven’t looked great in the opening two games of this series, but with Peralta on the mound, that’ll change everything. He’s been one of the sharpest pitchers already in the young season and should have his way racking up the strikeouts on the road and keeping Philadelphia off of the base paths. Milwaukee also recently welcomed back Yelich and Cain, which will give them some momentum after batting practice tomorrow to have those two continue to find their form. The Phillies are a good team, but it’s difficult to see a game where Realmuto goes off again, or McCutchen has one home run, let alone two. The Phillies will score some runs, but the Brewers' offense is due for a day to come alive and that’ll happen on Wednesday in a winning effort. The Brewers are top ten across most defensive statistics and will get a complete effort on both sides of the ball on Wednesday as they try to even up the series in the last two games.
Full-Game Total Pick
Peralta has been difficult to hit this year and should keep the Philadelphia offense at bay for most of the night, especially with Hoskins and Harper quieter than usual this year. In addition, the Brewers just don’t have the offense to put up runs in bunches and after the first two games saw low-scoring and a grind it out style, expect more of the same in game three. The Brewers do have more of their stars back, but Cain and Yelich for example, are still working their way back into proper shape and shouldn’t be expected to light things up offensively for a few more games. Additionally, according to covers.com, for Milwaukee, the under is 8-0 in their last eight games as a road favorite and for the Phillies, the under is 5-1 in their last six games against NL Central opponents.