The Brewers are one of the hottest teams in baseball as they arrive home having completed a perfect 7-0 road trip, which included a three-game sweep over the Reds at Great American Ball Park. “Guys see guys having good at-bats and it’s been contagious,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “That’s gone up and down the lineup. It’s success and then it’s confidence and then it’s contagious.”
With Sunday’s victory, it is only the second time in franchise history that the Brewers went undefeated on a road trip of at least seven games. During their eight-game winning streak, the Brewers have the best offense in baseball, with the team combining to hit .353 (107-for-303) and nine home runs.
Milwaukee turns to veteran right-hander Kyle Lohse, who looks to win his third straight start. And, while Lohse takes the mound with a 6.24 ERA and 1.37 WHIP this season, his underlying metrics suggest that he’s been much better than those surface statistics. Specifically, Lohse has a 4.94 FIP, 4.20 xFIP and 4.20 SIERA this season, but he’s been plagued by bad luck as evidenced by his 62.8% LOB%, including a 55.9% LOB at home.
I also like the fact that Lohse is 6-2 with a career 3.86 ERA and 1.26 WHIP versus the Braves, including allowing just four runs on 11 hits in his last 24 innings pitched against Atlanta, a period covering three starts. Lohse now faces a much-less potent Atlanta lineup that is averaging 3.9 runs per game this season, including 2.9 runs over its last seven games.
Milwaukee also possesses a good bullpen that owns a 3.29 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in 2015, including a 2.14 ERA and 1.23 WHIP over the last seven games. In contrast, the Braves’ relief staff enters tonight’s game with a 4.31 ERA and 1.37 WHIP, including 4.91 ERA and 1.54 WHIP on the road and a 4.31 ERA and 1.38 WHIP at night.
Atlanta gives the ball to Matt Wisler, who is 2-1 with a 2.60 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in three career Major League starts this season. Wisler joined the Braves organization in the Craig Kimbrel trade on the eve of the 2015 campaign, and the 22-year-old was a seventh-round draft pick out of high school. Wisler struck out 25% of the batters he faced in A-Ball and Double-A, but he saw his strikeout rate drop below 20% at the Triple-A level.
The talented hurler (ranked as the 41st-best prospect in baseball before the 2015 season) finished a disappointing 2014 campaign with a 5.01 ERA and 5.14 FIP. In his first three Major League starts, Wisler has garnered an 11.1% K%, which is well below is career average. Wisler has also been aided by a very lucky .263 BABIP. To date, the rookie hurler has posted a 3.95 FIP, 4.96 xFIP and 5.06 SIERA, suggesting that we need to temper our expectation of Wisler during his first season in the big leagues.
From a technical standpoint, the Braves are 1-6 in their last seven road games and have dropped nine of their last 12 games at Miller Park. Milwaukee is 14-5 in Lohse’s last nineteen starts as a favorite of -150 or less and 7-3 in his last ten starts during game 1 of a series. Take the hottest team in baseball as Oskeim Sports free Best Bet winner and invest with confidence.
Oskeim Sports Premiun Best Bet Winner: Milwaukee Brewers