Saturday, June 22, 2024
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MLB Preview: Milwaukee Brewers (24-19) at Tampa Bay Rays (32-13)

MILWAUKEE BREWERS NOTES:

TONIGHT’S GAME: Is game 4 (1-2) of a 6-game, 7-day road trip to St. Louis (1-2) and Tampa Bay (3g)…..the team returns to American Family Field following this trip for a 7-game homestand against Houston (3g) and San Francisco (4g).

IN THE TRAINER’S ROOM: RHP Jason Alexander (right rotator cuff), LHP Aaron Ashby (left labrum), RHP Matt Bush (right rotator cuff), LHP Wade Miley (left lat), OF Garrett Mitchell (left shoulder), INF Luis Urías (left hamstring), 1B Luke Voit (neck), LHP Justin Wilson (left elbow) and RHP Brandon Woodruff (right shoulder) are on the injured list….. Alexander, Ashby, Mitchell, Urías, Wilson and Woodruff are on the 60-day IL.

IN THE STANDINGS (50 days): The Brewers have spent the following number of days alone or tied at each position in the NL Central standings: FIRST: 29, SECOND: 19, THIRD: 2, FOURTH: 0, FIFTH: 0…..the team is currently in first place, leading the second-place Pirates by 1.0 game.

SERIES-LY SPEAKING: The Brewers are 7-7-0 in series play.
Game 1: 7-7, Game 2: 9-5, Game 3: 7-7, Game 4: 1-0
Sweep Wins (3): vs. NYM (3g, 4/3-4/5), at SEA (3g, 4/17-4/19), vs. KC (3g, 5/12-5/14)
Sweep Losses (1): at COL (3g, 5/2-5/4)

AT HOME: The Brewers are 13-8 at home, going 4-3-0 in series play…..the team went 46-35 at home last season, going 15-8-4 in series play.

ON THE ROAD: The Brewers are 11-11 on the road, going 3-4-0 in series play…..the team went 40-41 on the road last season, going 9-12-5 in series play.

LET’S GO TO THE VIDEO TAPE: The Brewers have made seven replay challenges this season, going 4-3…..their last challenge (won) came on May 16 at St. Louis as an out call at first base (William Contreras) was overturned.

TONIGHT’S STARTER: #37 – RHP ADRIAN HOUSER (2gs, 0-0, 5.19)

HOUSER AT A GLANCE: Adrian Houser, 30, will be making his third start…..Houser last started last Saturday vs. Kansas City and received no decision in the Brewers’ 4-3 win (4ip, 8h, 3r, 3er, 1bb, 2k, 1hr, 88 pitches)…..he made his season debut on 5/7 at San Francisco and had no decision in the 7-3 win (4.2ip, 7h, 2r, 2er, 1bb, 5k, 1wp, 87 pitches)….. he began the season on the 15-day injured list with a right groin strain…..he was sent to Triple-A Nashville on rehab assignment on April 14, where he made 4 starts…..Houser was acquired from Houston, along with LHP Josh Hader, OF Brett Phillips and OF Domingo Santana, in exchange for OF Carlos Gómez, RHP Mike Fiers and International Signing Bonus Slot #76 on 7/30/15.

LAST SEASON: Houser went 6-10 with a 4.73 ERA in 22 games/21 starts last season…..the team went 9-12 in his starts…..he made 6 quality starts…..opponents batted .258….. he posted a 2.98 ERA over his first 8 starts of the season (42.1ip, 14er) and a 6.17 ERA over his last 13 starts (58.1ip, 40er)…..he was on the 15-day injured list from 7/1-8/23 with a right flexor strain and from 9/28 through the remainder of the season with a right groin strain.

CAREER: Is 23-29 with a 4.00 ERA in 108 games/78 starts (436.2ip, 194er)…..is in his seventh Major League season, all with the Brewers (2015, 2018-23)…..has gone 18-29 with a 4.33 ERA as a starter (380.1ip, 183er) and 5-0 with a 1.76 ERA in relief (56.1ip, 11er)…..underwent “Tommy John” surgery on his right elbow on 7/21/16.

CAREER AT AMERICAN FAMILY FIELD: Is 8-14 with a 3.53 ERA in 55 games/38 starts (216.2ip, 85er)…..is 0-0 with a 6.75 ERA in 1 start this season (4ip, 3er)…..went 3-5 with a 3.68 ERA in 12 games/11 starts last season (58.2ip, 24er)…..

CAREER ON THE ROAD: Is 15-15 with a 4.46 ERA in 53 games/40 starts (220ip, 109er)…..is 0-0 with a 3.86 ERA in 1 start this season (4.2ip, 2er)…..went 3-5 with a 6.14 ERA in 10 starts last season (44ip, 30er).

CAREER vs. RAYS: Houser has never faced the Tampa Bay, actually St. Petersburg, Florida (formerly Devil) Rays.

TAMPA BAY RAYS NOTES:

HOME AT LAST — Tampa Bay dropped the final game of its 10-game road trip yesterday to New York-NL by a score of 3-2…six of Tampa Bay’s 10 games on the road trip were decided by one run, with the Rays going 1-5 in those contests…RHP Taj Bradley made his fourth career start and tossed 5.0 innings, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks with four strikeouts…RF Josh Lowe (2-for-4, 2B, HR, RBI, 2R) recorded his 10th home run of the year and has now homered four times in his last 10 games…LF Randy Arozarena (2-for-3, 2B, BB) tallied his team-leading 15th multi-hit performance of the season…LHP Jalen Beeks (1.0IP, H, SO) threw a scoreless eighth inning and has posted a 0.93 ERA (9.2IP, 1ER) with 11 strikeouts against two walks in seven appearances (2 starts) since 5/2.

Josh Lowe tied Randy Arozarena and Yandy Díaz yesterday for the team lead in home runs…Tampa Bay is one of three teams to have three or more players hit 10+ HR this season, joining Atlanta (4) and Los Angeles-AL (3).

IT STARTS AT THE TOP — Yandy Díaz has a 12-game hitting streak since 5/3, batting .333 (15-for-45) with four doubles, 3 HR and 8 RBI during the run…the streak matches the longest of his career (also: 6/26-7/8, 2022) and is the longest by a Tampa Bay hitter since Wander Franco (13G) from 9/14-27, 2022…it is tied with MIA Bryan De La Cruz for the second-longest active streak in the majors, trailing only SEA Ty France (14G).

He also has a 16-game on-base streak since 4/27, slashing .358/.485/.679 (19-for-53) with nine extra-base hits, 9 RBI, 10 walks and only 11 strikeouts in that stretch… it is tied with TEX Marcus Semien for the fourth-longest active on-base streak in the AL.

Díaz has reached base safely in 26 of his last 27 games overall, going .354/.461/.615 (34-for-96) at the plate during that span…he ranks among qualified major leaguers in OBP (1st), OPS (1st, 1.075), batting average (2nd) and SLG (5th) during that stretch (since 4/15).

FLIPPING THE SWITCH — Following a 2-for-28 (.071) skid from 4/14-23, Isaac Paredes is slashing .362/.436/.609 (25-for-69) with eight doubles, 3 HR and 18 RBI over his last 21 games.

Paredes has a pair of 5+ RBI games this season (4/27 at CWS & 5/16 at NYM), joining BAL Ryan Mountcastle and TEX Adolis García (2G each) as only major leaguers with multiple such games in 2023.

His 5-RBI game on 5/16 at New York-NL marked the fourth individual instance of a Rays hitter recording 5+ RBI this season, tied with Texas for most in MLB… in 2022, the Rays saw just one such performance (Randy Arozarena, 6RBI on 9/23/22 vs. TOR).

LOWES HOME IMPROVEMENT — During the 10-game road trip, Josh Lowe hit .286 (10-for35) with three doubles, 4 HR, 11 RBI, eight runs and two steals…in 36 games this year, Lowe is batting .306 (38-for-124) with 11 doubles, 10 HR, 30 RBI and 32 strikeouts against 12 walks… in his first 36 games last season, Lowe hit .186 (14-for-129) with seven doubles, two triples, 2 HR, 9 RBI and 46 strikeouts against nine walks.

Lowe has reached base safely in 12 straight Interleague games dating back to 7/8/22, batting .298 (14-for-47) with three doubles, 5 HR and 8 RBI during that stretch.

He joins ATL Ronald Acuña Jr. as the only players in the majors this season to have 10+ HR and 7+ steals.

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS — Wander Franco is batting .339 (39-for-115) with 17 doubles, 4 HR, 16 RBI and six steals in his last 30 games at Tropicana Field dating back to 9/18/22…he has hit safely in 25 of those 30 games and reached base safely in 28 of them…he ranks among MLB batters in their home ballpark (min. 120 PA) since 9/18/22 in doubles (1st), OPS (1st, .988), slugging percentage (2nd, .591) and batting average (3rd).

THE BAY BOMBERS — The Rays have hit a major league-best 87 home runs, tied for the third-most long balls through a club’s first 45 games in MLB history (since 1901), trailing only the 2000 St. Louis Cardinals (94HR) and 1999 Seattle Mariners (91HR)…the 2000 Cardinals also hold the record for most homers through 46 games (96HR), followed by the 1999 Mariners (95HR).

The Rays have 11 players with 5+ home runs this season, most in the majors, ahead of San Francisco (8 players)…per Elias, Tampa Bay is the first team in MLB history to have 10 or more players with 5+ home runs before reaching the 50-game mark in a season.

The Rays have an MLB-best 25 multi-homer games, ahead of Los Angeles-NL (22G)… this includes 14 games with 3+ homers, most in the majors.

Tampa Bay’s 26 go-ahead home runs lead the AL and trail only Los Angeles-NL (27) for the MLB lead…61 of the Rays 87 total homers (70.0%) have been solo shots.

INTERLEAGUE RUNDOWN — The Rays 9-3 (.750) mark against NL clubs signals the second-best Interleague record in MLB, behind Detroit (10-3, .769)…Tampa Bay is outscoring NL foes, 74-38 (+36), and has held the opposition to three runs or fewer in eight of its 12 Interleague contests…following a seven-game losing streak from 6/28-8/10, 2022, Tampa Bay has won 11 of its last 14 Interleague matchups dating back to 8/30/22.

Rays pitching has recorded a 2.88 ERA (106.1IP, 34ER) against the NL, the fifth-lowest Interleague ERA in the majors…this includes a 1.83 ERA (54.0IP, 11ER) by Tampa Bay starters.

Rays hitters are slashing .277/.344/.532 with 27 homers against the NL…they pace the majors in Interleague AVG, SLG and OPS (.876).

LEADING THE PACK — The Rays pace the majors in runs scored (277) while surrendering the fewest runs (156)…Tampa Bay’s +121 run differential is the seventh-best mark through the first 45 games of a season in MLB history (since 1901), including the best since the 1939 New York Yankees (+142).

BATTER UP — Rays hitters lead MLB in batting average (.273), OBP (.348), SLG (.506), OPS (.853), homers (87), extra-base hits (179), total bases (779) and at-bats per HR (17.70).

THE CHEESE HEADS — Tampa Bay and Milwaukee open a three-game set tonight…the Brewers swept the season series in 2022, winning two games at Tropicana Field from 6/28-29 and two at American Family Field from 8/9-10.

Milwaukee has taken seven of eight from Tampa Bay overall since 7/30/14, outscoring the Rays 30-14 (+16) in those contests.

Tampa Bay is 7-9 against Milwaukee in franchise history, including 5-6 at home… the Rays last beat the Brewers at Tropicana Field on 8/6/17 in a 2-1 victory.

TONIGHT’S STARTER: LHP SHANE McCLANAHAN (7-0, 2.34)
SUGAR SHANE — The southpaw makes his 10th start in tonight’s series opener vs. Milwaukee, including his fifth at Tropicana Field…his 2.34 ERA is seventh-lowest through a pitcher’s first nine starts of a season in club history…ranks among AL leaders in wins (1st, 7), ERA (5th, 2.34) and strikeouts (T6th, 61)…enters tonight just four strikeouts shy of 400 for his career…is looking to become the third Rays pitcher to begin a season 8-0, including the first since Charlie Morton (8-0) in 2019.

ONE BAD INNING — Allowed season highs in hits (tied), runs, homers (tied) and walks (tied) in the Rays 9-8 loss at Yankee Stadium on 5/13 (4.0IP, 5H, 4ER, 4BB, 3SO)…kept New York-AL off the board over the first four innings before yielding four runs in fifth frame on a pair of two-run homers…the outing marked his shortest start since 9/20/22 vs. HOU (also 4.0IP) and just his second career game with more walks than strikeouts (also: 9/20/22 vs. HOU – 4BB, 3SO).

MEET THE BREW CREW — McClanahan will be making his first career start opposite Milwaukee this evening…in five career starts against NL Central clubs, McClanahan is 3-0 with a 1.09 ERA (33.0IP, 4ER), holding opponents to a .155 average (18-for-116)…it marks his lowest ERA against any division and the second-lowest ERA against the NL Central among active starters behind BOS Chris Sale (0.91) (min. 5GS vs. NL Central).

He has gone 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA (12.0IP, 3ER) in two Interleague starts this season…has never lost to an NL team in his career, going 7-0 with a 2.16 ERA (58.1IP, 14ER) in 10 starts…the seven-game run is the longest Interleague winning streak to open a starting pitcher’s career since Interleague play began in 1997.

HOME SWEET HOME — McClanahan ranks among AL leaders at home (min. 20.0IP) in several categories, including ERA (3rd, 1.57), strikeout rate (3rd, 37.8%), opponents’ average (5th, .171) and hits per 9.0 IP (6th, 5.48).

COLLECTING W’S — The Rays won each of McClanahan’s first eight starts of the season, the second-longest team winning streak in a pitcher’s starts to open a season in Rays history, behind only Matt Moore’s nine-start run in 2013…it also marked the longest streak of McClanahan’s career at any point in a season and is the fourth-longest single-season streak in Rays history (longest: Blake Snell, 10GS from 8/10-9/29, 2018).

McClanahan’s personal seven-game winning streak since 3/30 is the longest of his career, ahead of a six-game streak from 5/5-6/9, 2022…marks the longest streak by a Rays starter since Tyler Glasnow (also 7G) from 8/25/20-4/17/21.

With a win today, McClanahan will join Charlie Morton (8-0, 2019) in 2019 and Matt Moore (8-0, 2013) as the only pitchers to begin a season 8-0 in Rays history…no Tampa Bay hurler has started 9-0.

WE’VE GOT YOUR BACK — McClanahan’s 9.18 runs of support per 9.0 IP lead the majors, ahead of MIN Joe Ryan (8.28)…last season, his 3.73 run support average ranked 20th among AL qualifiers.

A MODEL OF CONSISTENCY — McClanahan opened the season with eight straight starts of 5.0+ innings with two or fewer earned runs…it marked the longest such streak to open a season in Rays history, ahead of Tyler Glasnow’s seven-start run to open the 2019 campaign…from 10/1/22- 5/8/23, he strung together nine consecutive such starts, the third-longest streak in club history behind Blake Snell (10GS, 8/10-9/29, 2018) and McClanahan’s own 14-start run from 5/5-7/26, 2022.

His eight starts of 5.0+ IP with two or fewer ER this season are second most in the majors behind NYY Gerrit Cole (9GS).

CAN’T TOUCH THIS — McClanahan’s 35.2 pct. whiff rate ranks second in the majors behind only ATL Spencer Strider (40.0%)…opponents are swinging at 33.3 pct. of his pitches outside of the strike zone, the 10thhighest chase rate in baseball…McClanahan has also been effective on pitches inside the zone, recording the second-highest in-zone whiff pct. in MLB (25.0%), trailing only Strider (30.7%).

He has registered a 52.6 pct. whiff rate on his changeup, the fifth-highest mark on any pitch in the majors (min. 150 pitches thrown)…trails only NYM Kodai Senga’s forkball (58.8%), Strider’s slider (54.7%), PHI Gregory Soto’s changeup (53.9%) and TEX Jacob deGrom’s slider (53.3%).

On 4/22 vs. Chicago-AL, McClanahan tied the fifth-most whiffs in an outing by any pitcher in MLB’s pitch-tracking era (since 2008)… his 65.3 pct. whiff rate (32 misses, 49 swings) was the highest by any pitcher in a single game in the pitch-tracking era (min. 25 swings).

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