The Los Angeles Dodgers face a great Milwaukee Brewers bullpen in the NLCS. When it comes to the starting pitchers, Wade Miley is someone to get excited about.
The Los Angeles Dodgers will be playing to be the National League Champions for the third straight year. This is the first time that the NLCS matchup does not feature the Chicago Cubs as the Dodgers look to represent the National League for the second straight year.
The Milwaukee Brewers enter the series with home-field advantage and are the national fan favorite to win. People are sick of seeing the Dodgers win and the Brewers present a breath of fresh air, considering the franchise has made just one other World Series.
This has, sort of, elevated the Brewers stock to a place that might be higher than the team really is. To be fair, though, we cannot ignore how good the Brewers have been. The team has not lost since September 22 and outside of two runs in the ninth inning of game one, completely shut out the Colorado Rockies in the NLDS.
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The biggest weapon for the Brewers is the stout bullpen. Milwaukee has a collection of arms that is the best in baseball and can shut down any offense. If trailing in the sixth inning and on, it is going to be very hard to beat the Brewers.
Unfortunately for the Brewers, they are coming up against the perfect team to disrupt the rhythm. The Los Angeles Dodgers are notorious for scoring early in games and scored in the first inning in all three wins in the NLDS.
Having a great bullpen is great but having a great bullpen won’t matter as much if they are used while trailing. As long as the Dodgers can get an early lead and sit on it, they should be successful.
The Brewers starting rotation simply does not scream playoff-caliber and manager Craig Counsell has had to ride the bullpen as early as the fourth inning. Scoring in the first three innings is imperative for the Dodgers.
And the team should be able to do that against at least one of the starting pitchers in Wade Miley.
Miley, a former member of the Arizona Diamondbacks, is no stranger to facing the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers current hitters are no strangers to Miley, either.
The Dodgers have 138 combined at-bats against Miley with a .261/.366/.420 slash line. Justin Turner, Yasiel Puig, Manny Machado and David Freese all have better than a .300 batting average against Miley. Matt Kemp has the most experience against Miley with 33 at-bats.
The Brewers will undoubtedly turn to Miley at some point this season. Miley delivered two great starts against the Dodgers this year, throwing a combined 13 innings and allowing just one unearned run.
Those two performances will give Craig Counsell faith in his southpaw. The only problem is that Miley has not been on this big of a stage, the Dodgers have. Quality starts in July are much harder to come by than quality starts in October.
And with that experience and the familiarity against Miley, the Dodgers should be able to put some runs on the board early.
The Brewers are a scary matchup, I get it. However, we are least know for sure that the Los Angeles Dodgers should thrive against Wade Miley.