Battle of the B’s; Burnes vs. Berríos

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The Opening Series Border Battle between the Brewers and Twins continues tonight at 6:10 P.M. central time. After a thrilling Opening Day comeback victory, the Brewers have a potential Cy Young candidate on the mound tonight in Corbin Burnes. His counterpart on the Twins side is right-handed pitcher José Berríos. 

Corbin Burnes

The 26-year-old has made great strides since his down year in 2019, where he finished the season with an 8.82 ERA. Burnes has had more experience than pitchers his age and continues to improve and dominate. What has been the key to his recent success? Re-working his pitch mix and adding in a new one. Burnes used to ride with a fastball and slider combination, but he couldn’t locate it well, and the spin of the ball was dead. He cut out what wasn’t working and added in a cut fastball and changeup.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – AUGUST 13: Corbin Burnes #39 of the Milwaukee Brewers throws a pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers during the game at Wrigley Field on August 13, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

Fans get to witness Burnes’ rise to stardom in full glory this season. He finished sixth in Cy Young voting last season and had a dominant spring. In a small sample size of two career games against the Twins, Burnes has a WHIP of .0833 and seven strikeouts versus the team’s offense. If Burnes continues with the abundance of strikeouts he dealt in Spring Training, 26 K’s in 16.1 innings, the Twins’ offense will have a rough time at the plate. 

José Berríos

José Berríos is on the cusp of being an ace for the Twins. That has been a conversation within the Twins organization for a while now. But, as long as Kenta Maeda is on the team, Berríos won’t reach the level of ace quite yet. Berríos has worked on his mechanics this spring to get his spin rate up for more movement on the ball. Like Burnes, the Twins’ righty has pitched in two career games against the Brewers. Berríos’ velocity sits in the high-90’s. The 26-year-old is a 2-time All-Star but finished with a 4.00 ERA last season. 

In feed

Brewers’ Offense vs. Berríos

It’s no surprise that two left-handed hitters on the Brewers’ roster have done well against right-handed Berríos. Travis Shaw has a .667 batting average with a home run against the Twins starter. The secondary first baseman Daniel Vogelbach is 3 for 8 with a knock against Berríos as well. It shouldn’t come as a surprise if Craig Counsell has more lefty hitters in the lineup tonight.

Brace Hemmelgarn, Getty Images

Twins’ Offense vs. Burnes

There aren’t many current Twins that have faced Corbin Burnes. Luis Arraez, who doesn’t strike out often, is 1 for 2 with a double against Burnes. Miguel Sano also has a double against Burnes. Josh Donaldson is batting .1000 against Burnes, but he came out of the game on Opening Day with an injury. It is unclear whether he will be available for the rest of the series.

Brewers Lineup

Twins Lineup

 

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