Two of the best teams square off on Friday night as the Milwaukee Brewers host the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Brewers eked out a 2-1 win on Thursday night but the Dodgers remain favored for Friday’s game with a moneyline of -146 compared to Milwaukee’s moneyline of +137.
The Brewers are poised to finish April in first place in the NL Central. After Thursday’s win over the Dodgers, the Brew Crew has won 7 of its last 10 games. They now sit five games over .500 at 15-10 and have a two-game lead at the top of the NL Central standings in Major League Baseball.
The Dodgers, on the other hand, risk finishing April not in first place if they lose on Friday. Los Angeles is 3-8 in its last 11 games, spoiling an otherwise strong start to the season. While the Dodgers are still six games over .500, they begin Friday half a game behind the upstart Giants at the top of the NL West standings.
The Dodgers have all but declared Friday to be a bullpen game as a way to give everyone in the rotation an extra day of rest amidst a long string of games. Fortunately for the Dodgers, their bullpen has performed well this season with three different pitchers notching saves. The trio of Kenley Jansen, Corey Knebel, and Blake Treinen at the back end almost gives LA three closers.
However, the Dodgers don’t have many pitchers coming out of the bullpen who can give them multiple innings. David Price would have been an ideal option before going on the IL earlier this week. That could leave former Brewer and longtime starter Jimmy Nelson as the only option to give the Dodgers length on Friday night.
The good news is that the Brewers have been held to two runs or less in four of their last seven games. With Christian Yelich on the IL, Milwaukee is finding it difficult to score runs consistently. The good news is that Kolten Wong, Keston Hiura, and young outfielder Tyrone Taylor are all heating up and helping to fill the void left by Yelich.
Right Said Fred
The Brewers will also have Freddy Peralta taking the mound on Friday. Outside of Corbin Burnes, Peralta has been the team’s best starter this season, posting a 2.45 ERA. However, Peralta has been a little less effective in his last two starts, allowing five runs over nine innings of work despite striking out 14.
Peralta also has little experience pitching against members of the Los Angeles lineup. However, he might be catching them at a good time after the Dodgers only scored one run on Thursday. Cody Bellinger remains on the IL and Mookie Betts is yet to find his rhythm at the plate, so the Dodgers aren’t clicking on all cylinders right now.
That being said, Chris Taylor and A.J. Pollock are both raging hot at the moment. Corey Seager and Justin Turner are also starting to break out of their slumps, giving the Los Angeles lineup plenty of depth, even if the Dodgers aren’t at full strength.
It’s hard not to be skeptical of the Dodgers having a bullpen game, even if their bullpen is close to full strength. Los Angeles is also going through a rough period and could have trouble against Peralta. Take a chance on the Brewers beating the Dodgers again on Friday.
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