By sweeping the Pirates and scoring 15 runs in three games, the Milwaukee Brewers were able to get back on track a bit after a rough couple of series. The team will now remain at home to play host to the Arizona Diamondbacks for a three-game set. We’ll preview the first game before going over whether I’m on the NFRI or YRFI in this one.
The Arizona Diamondbacks responded nicely to a series loss to the Phillies by taking two out of three from the Cleveland Guardians. After two strong pitching performances from the Diamondbacks in the first two games, Arizona could not complete the sweep yesterday afternoon as they fell 12-3 in the series finale. The D-Backs put nine hits on the board, including a Christian Walker home run, but they still ended up leaving 25 runners on base.
Entering tonight, Arizona has won the opening game of six straight series, and as they look to make it seven, they will send Merrill Kelly to the mound. The right-hander has been an excellent number-two starter this season, as he has thrown 83 innings while pitching to a 3.04 ERA with 89 strikeouts and 34 walks. Kelly lost his streak of five straight wins in his last start by taking the no-decision in a six-inning and three-earned run-allowed performance.
As he looks to get back in the win column, the righty will take on a Brewers lineup that scored five runs in each of the three games they played against the Pirates. In yesterday’s 5-2 victory, Milwaukee registered six hits, two of which were Christian Yelich doubles. Luis Urias drove in two of the team’s runs, while Jesse Winker, William Contreras, and Raimel Tapia drove in the other three.
With the team searching for their fourth straight win, it will be Corbin Burnes getting the start. The Brewers ace is up to 83.7 innings thrown, and in that span, he has a 3.44 ERA with 83 strikeouts and 29 walks. Burnes took a no-decision his last time on the mound, but in that start, he recorded more than five punchouts for the fifth time in his last seven outings.
For my play in this one, I’ll be taking the NRFI, which is priced at (-125). Merrill Kelly will come in tonight as one of the most profitable NFRI pitchers this season, boasting a first-inning ERA of 1.93 in 14 innings. The D-Backs starter also has an opponent batting average of .202 the first time through the order and a 2.12 ERA on the road this season.
Kelly will take on a Brewers lineup that ranks 28th in OPS, wOBA, and wRC+ against right-handed pitching at home over the last month and has not scored a run in the first inning in four of their last five games. On the other side, the Brewers are allowing an average of just .32 runs per game in the first inning when at home, and their starter tonight, Corbin Burnes, has a 3.21 first-inning ERA in 14 innings.
Burnes has not allowed a run in the first inning in four of his last five starts and currently has a .213 batting average against at home and a .224 average against the first time through the order. Also, in 72 career at-bats against Burnes, the Diamondbacks lineup has a 37.3% strikeout percentage and a .155 expected batting average.
First Inning Runs Under .5 (-125)