The Cleveland Guardians (36-38, 19-17 home) and the Milwaukee Brewers (38-36, 16-18 away) begin a three-game interleague series with Game 1 on Friday night. The weekend set will be the only time these two franchises face each other this season.
First pitch of the contest is at 7:10 p.m. EST inside Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland is the betting favorite (-155 moneyline), while the over/under total is eight runs.
What to Know – Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee lost two of three to the Arizona Diamondbacks earlier in the week but have won four of their last six matchups. The Brewers are in second place in the NL Central, trailing the Chicago Cubs by 1.5 games.
Southpaw Wade Miley (4-2, 3.28 ERA, 1.09 WHIP) gets the ball for the Brewers. The veteran arm looks to keep the good times rolling, tossing five scoreless innings in his last outing. Through nine appearances on the hill this season, the 36-year-old has pitched 46.2 innings, allowing 17 earned runs on 40 hits, 11 walks and striking out 28 batters.
On offense, the Brewers are the worst NL hitting team in the majors with a .226 team batting average and scoring four runs per game. The Milwaukee pitching staff ranks 14th in the MLB sporting a 4.08 team earned run average.
Run production has been a struggle for the Brewers, with currently only three players having driven in 30 or more runners. Brian Anderson leads the team with 34, and Christian Yelich is next in line with 32 RBIs. Rowdy Tellez paces the Brewers’ offense with a team-high 12 home runs.
What to Know – Cleveland Guardians
Cleveland carries a four-game winning streak into the weekend series after sweeping the Oakland As in a three-game series. The Guardians have moved into second place in the AL Central, just a game back of the Minnesota Twins.
The Guardians counter on the mound with ace Shane Bieber (5-4, 3.51 ERA, 1.22 WHIP). Bieber was roughed up in his previous outing after two quality outings to start the month. The right-hander has 95.0 innings pitched, surrendering 37 earned runs, 91 hits, and 25 walks while collecting 69 strikeouts.
Cleveland’s offense sits 17th amongst league teams batting .247 as a unit and 3.9 runs per contest. The pitching staff for the Indians sits eighth in the majors featuring a 3.84 team ERA.
Josh Naylor is tied for fourth in the majors with 55 RBIs. Jose Ramirez is the only player on the Guardians roster with double-digit home runs with 11 and adds 45 RBIs behind a .294 batting average.
The Pick is In
Cleveland and Milwaukee have struggled all season to get runs across home plate. The Guardians have the upper hand in the opener with Bieber on the hill. Expect low scores all weekend, but take Cleveland in Friday’s matchup backed by a strong outing from Bieber and the Guardians’ bullpen.
The Pick: Cleveland Guardians ML