Game: Milwaukee Brewers at Atlanta Braves
Time: 5:15 PM ET
Starting Pitchers: TBA vs. TBA
Odds: Brewers +115, Braves -138
No one really saw this coming. The Atlanta Braves have a chance to close out their National League Division Series with a win over Milwaukee tonight at home. After losing Game 1 of the series, Atlanta has scored consecutive 3-0 victories over the Brewers. Braves pitchers have now held Milwaukee scoreless for 19 consecutive innings. The question heading into Game 4 is which Brave will take the mound to start.
The same question goes for Milwaukee, which had arguably one of the best pitching staffs in baseball. The Brewers had the third-best team ERA (3.47) behind the Dodgers and Giants. Corbin Burnes led the NL with a 2.34 ERA. Teammate Brandon Woodruff was fourth at 2.62.
Milwaukee pitchers have done a decent job of limiting Atlanta’s offense. The Braves have scored a total of just seven runs in three games, but the Brewers just can’t manufacture any runs. Milwaukee had just five hits in Game 1 and scored its only two runs of the series on a Rowdy Tellez two-run homer. The Brewers had six hits in Game 2 and five hits again in Game 3.
It is anyone’s guess who will start for either team. For Atlanta, Game 1 starter Charlie Morton is an option though he likely wouldn’t pitch more than three or four innings. Remember, in 2017 Morton pitched on short rest in Game 7 of the World Series for Houston. He is 7-4 with a 3.34 ERA in 14 total playoff appearances, 13 of which were starts.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell has said that his Game 1 starter, Burnes, will not be available to pitch tonight. The pitcher that makes the most sense in this situation would be left-handers Eric Lauer who went 7-5 this season with a 3.19 ERA. Lauer has been exceptional over the final three months of the season.
In 13 starts, Lauer was 6-2 with a 1.78 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. Lauer did pitch once against the Braves this season. He allowed four hits and three earned runs in a 6-3 Brewers loss. That game was way back on May 14th.
Whoever pitches for Milwaukee is going to have to make sure they don’t let Joc Pederson go off. Pederson became just the third player in MLB history to hit two pinch-hit home runs in a single playoff series. So far in this series, Milwaukee’s and Atlanta’s starters have combined to go 28-for-151. That’s a batting average of .185. Pederson is 3-for-3 and two of those hits were home runs.
Somehow, the Brewers need to find a way to hit the ball, especially when runners are in scoring position. So far, Milwaukee is hitting just .178 in the three games so far. The Brewers are 0-for-16 with runners in scoring position.
All three games so far have gone Under the posted total. The total has now gone Under in six of the last seven Braves games. That also makes the Under 4-1 in the last five Brewers-Braves games and 4-2 when playing in Atlanta.