It’s a potential National League playoff preview as the marquee series to open this week as the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers visit the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants for four games. Here’s a look at the series. The Giants will be favored on the MLB series line (will only be the first three games).
Analysis MLB 2021 Brewers vs. Giants
- When: Monday-Thursday
- Where: Oracle Park
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
Milwaukee is a lock to win the NL Central with a huge lead over the second-place Cincinnati Reds. The Brewers are on pace for 97 wins, which would break the regular season franchise record of 96 accomplished in 2011 (96-66) and 2018 (96-67). Milwaukee is 20-8 vs. the NL West this year: 6-1 vs. Ari, 5-2 vs. Col, 3-1 vs. LA, 5-2 vs. SD and 1-2 vs. SF.
The Giants will make the playoffs but may not hold off the Los Angeles Dodgers atop the NL West. They are 27-14 since the All-Star break. The Giants had won nine straight series until losing two of three over the weekend in Atlanta. Prior to that, they hadn’t dropped one since July 23-25 vs. Pittsburgh.
What do the Brewers and Giants have in common? Both teams have thrown 15 shutouts this year. It’s the most shutouts a Giants team has posted since 2018, when they also at 15. The last Giants club to have more than 15 was the 2015 team (18)
San Francisco got back slugging first baseman Brandon belt from the bereavement list on Sunday. However, second baseman Donovan Solano tested positive for COVID so he won’t play in this series.
Solano is hitting .275 with six homers, 30 RBIs and a .727 OPS. He’s made 73 starts. Solano was the Silver Slugger award winner for National League second basemen last year, when he batted .326 with an .828 OPS in 54 games during the pandemic-shortened season. San Francisco has Tommy La Stella to fill in at second base.
The Giants lead the majors with 197 homers. San Francisco has scored 52.2% of their runs off home runs, most in the Majors. Only two Giants teams since 1950 have led MLB in home runs (including ties for the lead) and only one since the team moved West in 1958: 1954 NY Giants (186 HR tied with Brooklyn) & 1972 SF Giants (150 HR). The 197 homers are the team’s most since 2002 (198).
Not all of the pitching matchups are set, but it will be Brewers right-hander and Cy Young contender Corbin Burnes (8-4) on Monday. Burnes wasn’t at his best in a no-decision against the Reds last Tuesday, surrendering four runs on seven hits across six innings. The right-hander walked three and struck out five on the night. The bulk of the damage done against him came during a three-run uprising in the fourth inning where Mike Moustakas and Kyle Farmer delivered RBI singles and Tucker Barnhart added a sacrifice fly. He also allowed a run-scoring single to Barnhart in the sixth.
Burnes still has a stellar 2.30 ERA on the season. He is 6-0 with a 2.28 ERA in his last 14 starts (86.2ip, 22er). The team is 14-8 in his starts, including wins in each of his last 7 outings. He has 14 quality starts overall and opponents are batting .204 off him. Burnes had a no decision vs. San Francisco on Aug. 6 in Milwaukee (7ip, 4h, 1r, 1er, 1bb, 5k, 1hr).
Johnny Cueto (7-6) takes the mound for San Francisco. Cueto didn’t factor into the decision in last Wednesday’s 3-2 win over the Mets, allowing one unearned run on five hits and three walks over 4.2 innings. He struck out two. Cueto benefitted from the Giants turning five double plays to help erase his baserunners. He has a 3.73 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 94:27 K:BB through 108.2 innings.
- Teams split the four-game set
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