Two of the MLB’s best, the (45-22) Houston Astros and (38-28) Milwaukee Brewers meet in a two-game interleague series starting today (Game 1: 8.10 PM ET Tuesday).
Currently, the Astros have the second best record in baseball, just one game in the loss column behind the (45-21) Los Angeles Dodgers. Houston’s record is the best in the American League however, as is their 24-9 record at home at Minute Maid Park. Entering this series, the Astros are coming off a stretch of winning eight of their last 10 games and currently hold one of the largest divisional leads in MLB, 9.5 games in front of the second place (34-30) Texas Rangers in the AL West. On the year, the Astros are 1-1 in interleague play, having split their only series with the (37-27) Chicago Cubs.
Also, at the top of their divisional standings, the Brewers are tied with the Cubs in the NL Central, a division that continues to be one of the most competitive in baseball. All five teams are separated by just eight games in the win column. Much like the Astros, Milwaukee is also playing solid baseball right now, winning seven of their last 10. That said, the Brewers haven’t fared well in interleague play this year, winning just one of four games.
Probable Pitchers – (HOU) Brad Peacock vs (MIL) Freddy Peralta
Taking the mound for the Brewers is 23-year-old righty, Freddy Peralta, who is making the 22nd start of his MLB career. On the year, Peralta has a 5.11 ERA with 52 strikeouts in 44 innings pitched and has been used both as a starter and in the bullpen. Today he will be making just his second start since May 13th. His last start, which came last week against the (23-40) Miami Marlins, was one of his best of the year as he allowed just one run and one walk, while striking out nine over six innings pitched.
He’ll be opposed by 31-year-old righty, Brad Peacock, who is having a great year for the Astros. The seven-year veteran currently owns a 3.20 ERA in 11 starts and a total of 64.2 innings pitched. It’s his first year returning to the starting rotation after pitching mainly out of the bullpen in 2018. In his past six starts in particular, Peacock has been exceptional, going 3-1 (he’s 5-3 on the season), with an ERA of just 1.52 and a WHIP of just 0.94 with 41 batters in 34 innings pitched.
While the Brewers and Astros used to meet somewhat regularly when the Astros were still in the National League, ever since the team moved following the 2012 season, Houston and Milwaukee have played each other just six times (3 in 2013; 3 in 2016). For that reason, it makes sense that neither Peacock nor Peralta have that much experience with the hitters on the other team. In fact, only five players on the Brewers have faced Peacock, and at that, they have combined for just nine at-bats against him. The person with the most at-bats, Ben Gamel, is hitless against Peacock in five tries. None of the Astros’ hitters have ever faced Peralta, something that could play to the young righty’s advantage.
Tale of the Tape
Led by a trio of hitters all in the top-20 in MLB in batting average (12th – Michael Brantley – .317; 17th – Josh Reddick – .312; 18th – George Springer – .308), the Astros are tied for the best average in both MLB and the American League at .271, equal to the (43-21) Minnesota Twins. Milwaukee ranks 14th in that category, over .100+ points behind Houston’s mark. Batting average isn’t the only area offensively where the Astros have better numbers than the Brewers. The Astros rank top-6 in MLB in runs, doubles, home runs, RBI and walks. They rank second in on base percentage, slugging and OPS and lead the league in hits with 589.
While Houston is a power-hitting team, the one area offensively that Milwaukee has them beat is with the long ball as the Brewers have hit 108 home runs to the Astros 103.The Brewers are led in this category by the league’s leading home run hitter, Christian Yelich who has crushed 24 home runs in 59 games. His teammate, Mike Moustakas, ranks third in MLB with 20 home runs.
From the mound, both the Astros and Brewers have found success this year, ranked in the top-seven in MLB in ERA. It is Houston’s team ERA, including starters and their bullpen, of 3.57, that is the class of baseball. In addition to leading the league in ERA and strikeouts (633), the Astros are tied for the lead in wins with 43, and are second in quality starts, fourth in saves and fourth in total runs allowed. They have also allowed the sixth fewest walks. In those same categories, the Brewers rank fifth in most strikeouts, seventh in wins, 28th in quality starts, eighth in saves and 20th in total runs allowed. The Brewers are 22nd in walks issued as well.
Our Preview’s Milwaukee Brewers vs Houston Astros Predictions & Betting Picks Verdict
It’s pretty clear which teams holds the advantage from a statistical standpoint. The Brewers will need to beat them with the long ball but unfortunately for the Brewers, Minute Maid Park isn’t as friendly with home runs as Milwaukee’s own Miller Park is.
If Houston’s pitchers can keep the ball in the park, something they have had varying degrees of success with this year, the Astros should manage to sweep the short series.