Mike Fiers (2-6, 4.06 ERA) and Jordan Zimmermann (5-3, 3.18 ERA) are on the hill in the second of a four-game series between the Milwaukee Brewers (23-38) and the Washington Nationals (31-29) at Miller Park. The Brewers won the last game 6-5 and Milwaukee leads the series 1-0. Action begins at 8:10 p.m. ET on Friday, Jun. 12 and can be seen on MASN2 and FSN-WI.
Fiers pitched 4.1 innings in his most recent start, surrendering two runs, striking out three and walking three in a 2-0 defeat to the Twins. Ryan Braun (.267, 33 Rs, 13 HRs, 41 RBIs, 6 SBs) had another good game yesterday, going 2 for 3 with one run and one RBI. Zimmermann is 4-0 with a 2.35 ERA against the Brewers in his career. He takes on a below-average Milwaukee offense that's batting just .231. Denard Span (.308, 25 Rs, 5 HRs, 20 RBIs, 4 SBs) has been successful at the plate, going 3 for 5 yesterday with two runs and one RBI.
Washington is a slim -109 favorite over Milwaukee. According to the oddsmakers, the Over/Under (O/U) is currently eight runs. The Brewers have an overall money line of -1,459 and a record as the underdog of 17-23. Milwaukee's pitching staff has been doing better against opposing offenses during the last 10 games, only allowing an average of 2.6 runs per game, well under their season average of 4.6. Opponents have consistently been struck out by the Brewers, who rank fifth in the NL in strikeouts per game with 8.2.
In games where it is the favorite, Washington has a 26-20 record and an overall money line of -369. They played poorly as the favorite over their last 10 games with a 2-6 record, and a 3-7 record SU. Offensively, they average 4.3 runs per game, which is good for fifth in the NL. Washington is excellent at drawing walks with 3.1 per game, ranking fourth in the NL. When it comes to issuing walks, the Nationals have the second-fewest in the NL with an average of just 2.5 walks allowed per game. The Nationals have established a reputation of overwhelming hitters with an NL-best 7.9 strikeouts per road game, making them one of the top five teams in the league.
The Brewers have the edge in the season series, 1-0. The Brewers have a bad 7-16 record at home (16-31 overall) against right-handed starting pitchers, which is what they'll be facing when Zimmermann takes the mound. Fiers (RHP) will be on the hill against the Nationals, who have a 22-24 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - WSH, O/U - Over
The Nationals lost their last game by a one-run margin. In games decided by one run, the Brewers are 7-7. The Nationals are 11-7 in close games this season.
When leading after 7 innings, Washington is 16-13, while Milwaukee is 10-14.
The Brewers are coming into this game after allowing two walks during their last outing. The Nationals have a 7-14 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Brewers are 6-30. The Nationals have a 6-27 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 12th in home runs, Milwaukee has hit 58 this season. Washington ranks ninth with 63 home runs.
Ranking 15th, Milwaukee is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 7.77 per game. Washington ranks in the top 10 at 10th with 8.42.
Ranking 28th, Milwaukee is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.660). Washington ranks in the top half at 11th with an OPS of .720.
When the Nationals allow at least one home run, they are 9-17, well-matched with the Brewers who are 14-26 when allowing at least one homer.