Previewing a Battle with the New-Look Bronx Bombers

April 25th, 2024

After a seven-game road trip, including a sweep of the Cardinals, the Brewers return to American Family Field for a showdown against the New York Yankees.

Both clubs have started hot this season, with Milwaukee leading the NL Central at 14-8 as of Wednesday afternoon and the Yankees first in the ultra-competitive AL East at 16-8.

This series features some serious star power, young studs, and early season standouts. Here’s what to watch for in the Crew’s upcoming battle with New York.

Pitching Matchups

Despite the fast start, a giant question mark remains for Milwaukee: how will they manage their injury-riddled starting rotation? Believe it or not, the Brewers have already used eight different starters (and counting) entering the series against the Yankees.

Here are the matchups slated for the series:

Game 1: Colin Rea vs. Luis Gil

Game 2: Joe Ross vs. Carlos Rodon

Game 3: Tobias Myers vs. Marcus Stroman

Colin Rea has been phenomenal, sporting a 2.08 ERA through four starts, while Joe Ross has been a solid addition with his 4.05 ERA. Tobias Myers will be making just the second start of his MLB career after dealing five innings of one-run ball in his debut on Tuesday.

Either way, the Yankees staff is a tough draw for any opponent. New York’s starting rotation boasts a 2.84 ERA, good for third in MLB – and the Brewers will battle the best of them all when Marcus Stroman takes the hill for the finale.

Can the Brewers Contain Juan Soto?

As for the bats, it doesn’t get much more fearsome than Juan Soto, Aaron Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton in the same lineup. Any member of this trio could go ballistic at any time – but for this series, Soto is the one to watch.

The Yankees wheeled-and-dealed a seven-player trade last December to bring Juan Soto to the Bronx, and he’s performed as advertised through nearly a month of action. Here’s how Soto’s numbers stack up among MLB: 1.6 fWAR (second), 187 wRC+ (fifth), .432 OBP (second).

Although Juan Soto is an all-world talent, he comes back down to earth at American Family Field. He’s slashed just .227/.370/.386 in 54 plate appearances in Milwaukee – it's one of just four ballparks where Soto hasn’t registered a .400 SLG on his career.

Keeping Juan Soto from his superhuman status will be a massive key for the Brewers, not only for determining the outcome of the series, but also keeping a depleted rotation fresh for as many innings as possible.

Young Stars Faceoff

The weekend series pits two of the youngest players in baseball against each other as 20-year-old Jackson Chourio and 22-year-old Anthony Volpe square off.

After a Gold Glove rookie season, Volpe’s bat has caught up. He slashed .287/.367/.402 entering Friday’s competition along with an impressive 132 wRC+. Pairing those numbers at the plate with his spectacular defense makes him a premium talent at shortstop.

As for Jackson Chourio, it seems like every home run comes with a milestone. He’s the fourth-youngest player in MLB history to belt four homers in his first 17 games. That was after he became the youngest player with a home run and stolen base in a game since Bryce Harper in 2012.

Both rising stars will play pivotal roles for their respective clubs. Look out for Chourio and Volpe on both sides of the diamond this weekend.