The Milwaukee Brewers will return to the playoffs for the third straight year and face a familiar foe, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
With the new Major League Baseball format, Milwaukee will be off to Los Angeles and hope to upset the number one seed in a three game series. The Brewers are the eight seed, but everyone’s records are 0-0 going into the playoffs.
The Brewers last met the Dodgers in the playoffs in 2018 in the National League Championship Series. The Brewers and Dodgers battled until Game Seven. Sadly, the Brewers lost at home 5-1, and their special season to the World Series was cut short.
In his post-game interview on Sunday, Brewers closer Josh Hader said the following on Fox Sports Wisconsin:
"I feel like we owe them a lot. Obviously, losing to them in game 7 in 2018."
— Bally Sports Wisconsin (@BallySportWI) September 27, 2020
Let’s see who might be pitching.
Starting Pitchers – Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers have already announced that Walker Buehler will pitch Game One of the playoff series. Buehler started eight games for the Dodgers, ending with a 1-0 record and an ERA of 3.15.
Clayton Kershaw, aka Scared to Pitch to Brandon Woodruff, will take the mound for Game Two. Kershaw pitched 10 games in 2020, with a record of 6-2 and a 2.16 ERA.
The Dodgers haven’t named a pitcher for the possible Game Three yet, but will have plenty of options with Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May and Julio Urias. You might even see one of them come out of the bullpen during the first two games if needed.
Starting Pitchers – Brewers
Milwaukee hasn’t announced their starting pitchers yet, but everyone is assuming Brandon Woodruff will probably pitch in game two. The only question is, will Woodruff also be the designated hitter with Kershaw on the mound.
Game one could go a few ways. One avenue is Brent Suter. Suter has been solid so far when starting for the Crew. He started four times in 2020, and only gave up two runs over 13 innings. His last start was last Friday during the Brewers’ last double-header. He pitched four scoreless innings, and could have pitched more if wasn’t for the shortened seven-inning game.
Another option for the Brewers is Josh Lindblom. He pitched the other game of the double-header last Friday. Lindblom did not have a stellar outing. He did not make it through the third inning and gave up three runs. But, without many other options, he is also a likely candidate. Corbin Burnes is out for at least the first playoff series and Brett Anderson is battling another finger blister.
The Wild Card option? Eric Lauer. The Los Angeles Dodgers do not play well against Lauer. While he was with the San Diego Padres, Lauer was 4-0 with a 2.11 ERA against them. Was Brewers General Manager David Stearns playing an ultimate chess game with the Dodgers and figured we would have to play them in the playoffs?? We will have to see.
The focus will be on the Brewers’ offense. If they can take the lead and let Devin Williams and Josh Hader take the mound, Milwaukee can pull off an upset series win.
Brewers Line Up
There shouldn’t be too many changes with the Brewers line-up compared to the last week of the regular season. Despite the line-up changing constantly the first month of the season, the line-up will look something similar to this from the last regular season game:
The lineup for the regular season finale.
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) September 27, 2020
Jacob Nottingham and Omar Narvaez will most likely switch off games, depending on who is pitching. Narvaez is a lefty, while Nottingham bats from the right. They often replace each other during games as well.
I can also see Eric Sogard and Luis Urias switching off games as well. Sogard bats left, while Urias bats right.
With Buehler being a right handed pitcher and Kershaw being a lefty, I would expect to see Narvaez/Sogard in Game One, and Nottingham/Narvaez in Game Two.
If the Brewers are going to win the series, they will need help from Christian Yelich and Keston Hiura. With Daniel Vogelbach and Jedd Gyorko hitting well, Orlando Arcia in playoff mode, and Ryan Braun possibly playing his last playoff series, Yelich and Hiura need to show some heroics in the postseason.
The Series kicks on Wednesday, September 30th at 9 p.m. CST.
Game Two will be Thursday. The Brewers will win both games, but if there is a Game Three it will be on Friday, October 2nd. Both times have yet to be announced.
Let’s go Brewers.