Thursday, June 30, 2016

Patient offenses square off in Dodgers-Brewers finale

As the Brewers and Dodgers face off for the final time this season on Thursday, the matinee contest at Miller Park will feature two of the most selective teams at the plate.
Milwaukee entered Wednesday chasing only 25.9 percent of pitches outside of the strike zone while Los Angeles had swung at 26.9 percent, according to Fangraphs. Those totals rank first and second in the National League. The Brewers walk in 10 percent of plate appearances compared with 8.7 percent for the Dodgers.
Two rookie right-handers will face these offenses on Thursday, with Zach Davies scheduled for the Brewers and Kenta Maeda for the Dodgers.
Davies will attack hitters with any of his four primary pitches in any given count, and has seen success doing so, going 5-0 with a 2.64 ERA over his last 10 starts. He induces swings-and-misses above league average on his changeups, and finds success when forcing grounders with his low-90s sinker.
Maeda relies on a five-pitch mix of a fastball, sinker, slider, curve and changeup. When ahead to lefties, look for him to go to his low-90s fastball and a worm-killing changeup, though he willy bury both lefties and righties with a devastating slider when he gets two strikes. Maeda allowed a season-high-tying four runs in five innings in his last start against Pittsburgh on Saturday, but allowed just one run in 6 1/3 innings against the Brewers on June 19.
Things to know about this game
• The Dodgers have won four of the six meetings in the season series, taking three of four in Los Angeles from June 16-19 and splitting the first two games in Milwaukee.
• Davies is one of two rookies in Brewers history with an ERA under 3.75 and a strikeout-to-walk ratio greater than 3:1, minimum 70 innings. The other is Mike Fiers, who posted a 3.74 ERA and 3.29 K/BB ratio in 23 games in 2012.
• The Dodgers have been strong finishers this season, going 17-8 in series finales, winning four straight. They defeated Milwaukee with a Yasmani Grandal walk-off walk during the streak on June 19.
• The game was initially not scheduled to be broadcast to the Milwaukee market, but MLB Network picked up the contest. The Dodgers will be broadcasting the game as usual.

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