Bullpen Won’t Be Enough For The Brewers To Get Past Dodgers

clayton kershaw dodgers world seriesAs they prepare to face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series the red-hot Milwaukee Brewers enter with an impressive streak as they have won 11 consecutive games.

Although the Dodgers have the best rotation in the series the Brewers pitching is also a force to be reckoned with. Although the bullpen is Milwaukee’s strength, in the NLDS the Brewers made a huge statement as they held the Colorado Rockies hitters scoreless in 27 of 28 innings.

The Brewers bullpen is very deep and talented and amazingly none of those pitchers threw more than five innings in the NLDS.

For the first three games of the NLCS the Brewers will go with Gio Gonzalez, Wade Miley, and Jhoulys Chacin; with manager Craig Counsell determined to rely heavily on his five main bullpen pieces (Corbin Burns, Corey Knebel, Joakim Soria, Josh Hader and their closer Jeremy Jeffress).

Meanwhile, Los Angeles will send ace Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Walker Buehler, and Rich Hill to the mound in their first four games.

All the Brewers relievers are capable of throwing for more than one inning so if any of the starters get in trouble early don’t be surprised to see any of those guys come in to shut down the Dodgers’ bats.

The biggest concerns for Milwaukee is that their rotation is nowhere nearly as talented as the one the Dodgers boast and consequently they’re going to have to rely heavily on their bullpen. This is troublesome because although their bullpen is superb there’s a very real chance that it could be overworked over a seven-game series.

The Dodgers will need to rely on their starters and their offense to get past the Brewers as they can’t afford to trail late against the Brewers as their bullpen rarely relinquishes a lead.

The main concern for the Dodgers is their bullpen, as they lack a solid body of relievers that can help them get to closer Kenley Jensen. If any of their starters get in trouble early Los Angeles will struggle to stay competitive as their relievers lack depth are not as good overall as Milwaukee’s.

A good performance by Kenta Maeda, Pedro Baez, and even Ryan Madson will be vital for the Dodgers to keep the Brewers in check and reach the late innings safely.

Another concerning issue for Los Angeles is the up-and-down season Jensen’s had as he’s far from being a sure deal anymore. He’ll have to rely on his fastballs and postseason experience to overcome the powerful bats of the Brewers.

Before the start of this series, Julio Urias replaced fellow left-handed pitcher Scott Alexander even though Alexander had been the best lefty out of the bullpen for the Dodgers.

According to Dodgers manager, Dave Roberts Urias was chosen because “we like his pitch mix, the weapons that he has to attack the lefties and the righties in their lineup.”

The Dodgers led the National League in runs scored this year and put up 20 runs in the NLDS against the Braves.

The Dodgers lineup is deeply talented and are capable of matching well with anyone the Brewers send to the mound. The Brewers lineup, although not as deep, is quite balanced and has arguably the best position player in of the series in Christian Yelich.

The Brewers have great speed at the top of their lineup with Yelich and Lorenzo Cain, along with great power in Jesus Aguilar, Ryan Braun Erik Kratz and Mike Moustakas in the middle of the order.

Prediction: The Brewers starters do not match up well with the Dodgers and they are likely to be playing from behind in most games. The bullpen of the Brewers might win them two games but relying so much on them will cause them to run out of gas over the course of a seven-game series. Expect the Dodgers to win this series in six games.

 

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