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Series Preview: Angels @ Brewers - Miller Time

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Angels head to Miller Field to face the 2nd worst team in the NL and hope to avoid being "Twin-ed"

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

This series gives Angels fans a change to see Ryan Braun - potential trade target.  Of course, the reality is such a trade would be unlikely, give the cost and our depleted farm system.  Braun is in the midst of a great season, so he's likely to generate lots of trade interest if the Brewers are selling (which they probably will be).  We also get a look at our old friend Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who played so few games with the Angels in 2015, that most probably forgot about him (we did have like 37 left fielders last year).  The Brewers are his second club since leaving the Angels and he's doing well with them so far in 2016.  Angels third base coach, Ron Roenicke will also be making his first return to Milwaukee since the Brewers fired him as manager early last year.

The Brewers are one of the worst teams in the NL (and all of baseball?), yet have scored 9 more runs than the Angels in 1 less game.  Fortunately for the oft-challenged Angels offense, the Brewers also have the worst team ERA in all of baseball and have a BAA of .301.   This should bode well - at least on paper.  Not to mention, almost the entire Angels offense improved last week with only one regular batting under .250.

Of course, the last time we played one of the worst teams in baseball, we got swept.  So there is that.

Biggest question: Can we avoid being "Twin-ed"

Game 1
Jered Weaver vs. Jimmy Nelson
Monday, May 2, 2016 @ 4:20PM

Jered "80MPH fastball" Weaver is 3-0 in 2016 with a 3.86 ERA.  He's leading the team in wins, fewest walks allowed, and getting fans to shove their foot in their mouths.  Jimmy Nelson is the ONLY good pitcher on the Brewers right now and leads in ERA (3.16), BAA (.212), WHIP (1.21), and wins (3).  The rest of the Brewers pitching staff is so bad they are asking Shoemaker for tips.  Too soon?

Jered Weaver v. Brewers Current Lineup (Career)
AB H AVG BABIP K% HR
61 8 .131 .122 24.6 3
Players/Stats to watch:  None
In his young career, Nelson has only ever pitched to Yunel Escobar (2-3 with a HR) and Andrelton Simmons (1-2) on the Angels current roster.
Weaver's numbers look pretty dominate against the current Brewers lineup in his career.  Though you need to keep in mind that he last faced them in 2013 when his average fastball was still in the 87MPH range (it's 83 this year).
VERDICT: Given how much Weaver has changed since he last faced the Brewers, and how little the current Angels roster has seen Nelson, it's difficult to say.  Nelson has been good, but far from dominate.  This could be the toughest game for the Angels of this series.

Game 2
Nick Tropeano vs. Junior Guerra
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 @ 5:10PM

Both pitchers are rookies so neither team has players that have seen the other except for Shane Robinson who is 0-1 against Junior Guerra and he won't get to start on Tuesday due to matchups.

Players/Stats to watch:  None
Guerra is fresh from AAA Colorado where he had a 4.63 ERA in 4 starts.  He's a strikeout pitcher, so fortunately it's a good thing most of the Angels have a low strikeout rate.  He'll also be pitching on 7 days rest for this first big league start.
Tropeano has been solid this year and should pitch well agains the offensively challenged Brewers.
VERDICT: I have to think Tropeano will be able to out pitch Guerra

Game 3

Hector Santiago vs. Zach Davies
Wednesday, May 4, 2016 @ 10:40AM

Zach Davies started the season in AAA and was called up in mid April.

Hector Santiago v. Brewers Current Lineup (Career)
AB H AVG BABIP K% HR
36 9 .250 .273 30.2 3
Players/Stats to watch:
Chris Carter v. Heactor Santiago (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
14 5 5 2 .357
Santiago is off to a great start in 2016 and the Brewers are batting a mere .208 off lefties.  Chris Carter has had his number though and has gone long off him in 2015 and 2014.  Santiago has only given up 9 hits to the current Brewers roster (that he has faced) and 3 of those have been home runs (2 from Carter and 1 from Domingo Santana).
Davies induced a recent triple play for the Brewers, so hopefully the Angels don't add a GITP to their MLB worst GIDP totals. Aside from that, he's been mostly cringeworthy for the Brewers, putting up an 8.78 ERA and 2.250 WHIP in his 0-3 season start.

VERDICT: If we can't win this game, we should throw in the towel because the baseball gods have already decided our fate for 2016.