Previewing a Battle with the World Series Champs

May 22nd, 2023

One of the most highly anticipated matchups of the Brewers season takes place at American Family Field this week.

Beginning tonight, the Crew will take on the reigning World Series Champions in a battle with the red-hot Houston Astros.

The Brewers will welcome Houston back to Milwaukee for just the third time since the club left the National League Central back in 2013.

Here are three things to keep an eye on during this marquee matchup.

Miller Time

Owen Miller heads into the series as one of the hottest hitters in MLB.

The Wisconsin-native is sitting on a 22-game on-base and 13-game hit streak, dating all the way back to the Crew’s mid-April sweep in Seattle.

As the calendar flipped to May, Miller dialed it up another notch. He’s tallied a red-hot .408 batting average through this month’s action – second in MLB among players with 30 or more plate appearances in May.

Expect to see Owen Miller near the top of the Brewers lineup once again as he looks to extend his hot streak. However, Miller and the rest of the Crew will have their work cut out for them against one of MLB’s top pitching staffs.

Battling with the Best

The Astros have been on a historic run since 2017 – including two World Series titles – and pitching is a big reason why.

This season, Houston boasts a MLB-leading 3.19 team ERA behind a staff that ranks fourth in Baseball in punchouts.

Luckily, the bats will avoid a matchup against one of the top southpaws in the league in the Astros Framber Valdez. Instead, Houston is slated to start Christian Javier, JP France and Brandon Bielak, three righties who have filled in nicely for injured starters.

This bodes well for a Milwaukee lineup that has found consistency against right-handed pitching, posting a respectable OPS of .732 against righties, compared to an OPS of .637 against southpaws.

Another Test for the Rotation

It’s only May, but the depth of the Brewers pitching staff has been put to the test.

Ahead of back-to-back three-game sets against a pair of MLB’s top teams, Wade Miley joined several other Brewers starters, including Brandon Woodruff and Aaron Ashby, on the injured list.

The Crew immediately recalled reliever Jake Cousins from Triple-A Nashville after placing Miley on the injured list – but who will fill the open spot in the rotation?

With Corbin Burnes and Adrian Houser slated to start two of three games against Houston, and Miley’s timetable set at six to eight weeks, the Brewers will need to identify a third starter ahead of Tuesday night’s game and beyond. A few options include the return of Colin Rea or Janson Junk for a spot start.