Game: Milwaukee Brewers at San Francisco Giants
Time: 9:45 p.m. ET
Starting Pitchers: Brett Anderson vs. Kevin Gausman
Odds: Brewers +148, Giants -173
The likely top two seeds in the National League postseason will go at it for a third time tonight in San Francisco. The Brewers have taken each of the first two games in this four-game series, but the Giants appear to have the pitching advantage tonight.
Early this season, Kevin Gausman looked like a contender for the NL Cy Young. The Giants went 9-3 in Gausman’s first 12 starts of the season, but then the right-hander had a bit of a rough stretch in July. Gausman has gotten back on track though his numbers are not what they were early in the season.
Over his last six starts, his ERA is 3.60 with an FIP of 2.73. That’s remarkably better considering Gausman gave up nine earned runs in consecutive starts at the end of July and that was in a total of 8.2 innings.
For the season now, Gausman is 12-5 with a 2.49 ERA. He will face a Brewers lineup that has won its last three games but ranks 17th in OPS and 24th in ISO over the last two weeks. Looking at Gausman’s counterpart, Brett Anderson, one can see the Giants have the advantage here.
Anderson is just 4-8 with a 4.27 ERA through 20 starts in the rotation. His FIP is 4.20 which indicates that Anderson’s numbers are accurate. If there is a weak link in the Brewers pitching rotation, it is Anderson. Only he and Eric Lauer (4-5) have losing records for the Brewers.
Anderson has, however, pitched better in his last 10 starts compared to the first 10. His WHIP of 1.09 is outstanding and his ERA drops to 3.66 (3.01 FIP) over those 10 appearances. Unfortunately, Milwaukee has only won three of those 10 games. The Brewers have lost Anderson’s last four starts.
He doesn’t strike out a lot of hitters (18.0 percent K rate), but Anderson doesn’t walk many (6.0 percent BB rate) either. He could have some success against San Francisco which ranks just 24th in OPS over the last two weeks.
When both starters exit the game, two of the best bullpens in baseball will take over. The Brewers rank seventh in bullpen ERA (3.62) and the Giants continue to lead the majors with a mark of 3.15. Both bullpens are part of the reason why tonight’s total is set at 7.5.
The first two games of the series have seen final scores of 3-1 and 6-2. Both game totals were also set at 7.5. The pitching matchup tonight will be aided by weather more conducive to Unders. At game time, the temperature in the Bay Area is expected to be in the mid-50s with humidity of over 70 percent. The heavy air is typical of San Francisco.
The Under is trending for both teams too. It has hit in five of the last seven Brewers’ games and the Under is 9-4 in the Giants last 13 games. The Under is also 5-2 in San Francisco’s last seven home games.