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Cleveland Indians vs. Milwaukee Brewers series preview

The Tribe next head onto their final NL park of the season, to visit their old AL East foes, the Milwaukee Brewers. This will be a short two gamer in Miller Park.

Two of the better hitters in the NL, Carlos Gomez and Adam Lind (the other guy is Jonathan Lucroy)
Two of the better hitters in the NL, Carlos Gomez and Adam Lind (the other guy is Jonathan Lucroy)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Indians just concluded their season series with their Cincinnati Reds and now face the only NL Central foe left on the schedule, the Milwaukee Brewers. There is another two game set with them in late August, but these two games are in Progressive. This will also be the final chance to see our pitchers hit (yay?!?). Oh, last fun fact. The last Tribe victory over the Brewers was on June 13, 2001 when Jim Thome hit a three run shot to walk off in the tenth. The Indians were swept in both the 2006 and 2009 interleague series.

  • Tuesday 8:10 PM: Danny Salazar (R) vs. Matt Garza (R)
  • Wednesday 2:10 PM: Cody Anderson (R) vs. Kyle Lohse (R)

The Upcoming Schedule: The Tribe returns home to take on the White Sox for four this weekend and then the Royals visit Monday through Wednesday. Then the Indians will do their final West coast trip of the season.

Division Watch: Pirates at Royals, Twins at Angels, Mariners at Tigers, Cardinals at White Sox.

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Team in a Box

Milwaukee Brewers

Offense

NL Rank

Pitching

NL Rank

2015 Record

41-52

Runs/Game

4.1

6th

Runs/Game

4.5

13th

NL Central

5th

OBP

306

12th

H/9

9.0

13th

Last 10

6-4

SLG

398

8th

BB/9

2.9

10th

Last 30

17-13

Steals

42

11th

SO/9

7.8

7th

The Brewers had a miserable April, much worse than Cleveland's. They opened with a 2-13 record and cost Ron Roenicke his job after just 25 games. But since Craig Counsell (yes, him) has taken over, they have been much improved, playing 0.500 ball. And they have been hot lately, winning ten of fourteen in July, including their last three against the Pirates. They have a decent offense, with good power. But the starting pitching has been pretty bad almost all season, up until July. They are also dead last in both errors and fielding percentage.

Projected Roster

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OPS

wRC+

C

Jonathon Lucroy

R

225

243

645

78

1B

Adam Lind

L

341

285

870

137

2B

Scooter Gennett

L

176

255

695

82

3B

Aramis Ramirez

R

293

248

734

96

SS

Jean Segura

R

316

276

650

76

LF

Gerardo Parra

L

311

313

848

129

CF

Carlos Gomez

R

280

268

768

111

RF

Ryan Braun

R

362

272

825

124

OF

Khris Davis

R

186

250

803

120

C

Martin Maldanado

R

157

190

524

40

IF

Hector Gomez

R

122

200

590

56

OF

Shane Peterson

L

80

311

754

109

IF

Hernan Perez

R

77

329

840

129

This lineup is very polar. There are some really good hitters in Lind, Braun, Gomez and Ramirez. But Lucroy, Gennett and Segura have been really poor. Lucroy is the biggest surprise because he finished fourth in MVP voting last year and was an All-Star. The lineup has very good power, which also includes Parra, who is having his first breakout season at 28.

Parra has also been their hottest hitter in July, with a 420/474/760 slash. He has belted four homers, as has Lind. Ramirez has also been hot (378/455/556) with Davis and Gennett both above 900 OPS. Lind has driven in 11 and Gomez a massive 15 this month. The lowest regular in July has been Braun, and he is still at a decent 728 OPS.

Projected Staff

Player

Throws

ERA

FIP

IP

WHIP

K/9

Jimmy Nelson

R

4.29

4.14

115.1

1.31

7.6

Kyle Lohse

R

6.17

4.83

108.0

1.40

6.7

Mike Fiers

R

3.79

3.92

107.0

1.36

8.9

Taylor Jungmann

R

2.04

3.21

53.0

1.02

6.6

Tyler Cravy

R

3.60

3.52

15.0

1.27

5.4

Matt Garza

R

5.55

4.95

99.0

1.55

6.2

Francisco Rodriguez

R

1.32

2.38

34.0

0.82

10.1

Michael Blazek

R

1.58

2.25

45.2

0.92

8.1

Jeremy Jeffress

R

3.07

3.28

41.0

1.29

9.2

Neal Cotts

L

3.41

4.19

37.0

1.24

9.5

Will Smith

L

1.80

2.03

35.0

1.14

12.1

Jonathon Broxton

R

6.42

3.71

33.2

1.45

9.4

Corey Knebel

R

3.22

4.09

22.1

1.25

8.1

Garza was recently placed on the DL with shoulder tendinitis to allow him some recovery time over the All-Star break. The team will need to lose a bat or send down Cravy or one of the relievers to activate him. He hasn't a good start since the first week of June. Since that start he has a 6.60 ERA in 30 innings covering 5 starts with a very hittable 1.73 WHIP and just a 5.7 K/9. He has eight career starts against Cleveland and a 4.81 ERA, 1.42 WHIP and 9.0 K/9 over 43 innings. But of those eight, only the last one in 2010 was really any good. Lohse is also having a rough season. In his past five starts, he has a 5.40 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and 6.7 K/9 in 28.1 innings. He has a 24 career appearances and 18 starts against the Indians, 5.45 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 6.2 K/9 in 104 innings. Almost all of that was prior to 2008 however. His last start in 2012 was very good, 7.2 shutout innings.

If the Tribe hopes to take either (or both) of these games, they better get to Garza and Lohse as the bullpen is very good. Surprisingly the Tribe has faced most of the bullpen at one time or another. Smith was hit hard by Cleveland, but that was back when he was a starter for the Royals in 2011/12. Jeffress was hit even worse in his 6 relief appearances (18.00 ERA) for the Royals in the same timeframe. Broxton has 6.2 shutout innings with the Dodgers. Cotts has 3.53 ERA in 35.2 innings, mostly with the White Sox. And finally, K-Rod has a 4.68 ERA in 25.0 innings and 12 saves with Angels, Mets and Orioles.

On the Shelf

  • SP Matt Garza [15 day DL], expected to start Tuesday
  • RP Brandon Kintzler [15 day DL], no timetable for return
  • P Wily Peralta [15 day DL], possibly late July, on AA rehab

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2015

-

-

-

-

-

-

2009

0

3

000

25

30

417

Last 5*

-

-

-

-

-

-

Last 10*

0

6

000

34

45

375

All-Time

201

205

495

1922

1966

490

Prediction: The Tribe should take both of these games provided their bats don't go silent versus the recovering Garza or Lohse.