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The Brewers and Twins battled in game one of the series on Tuesday before Luis Urias hit a walkoff sacrifice fly in the ninth, leading the Brewers to a 7-6 victory. Neither offense is great, but the Brewers have the advantage on the mount from the front end (Burnes) to the back end (Hader).
Garcia’s 2022 record: (28-21)
Pick made on 07/26/2022 at 11.21 PM EST
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Chris Archer has been a pleasant surprise for the Twins. From 2013-17, Archer had a combined 12.0 WAR with the Tampa Bay Rays, as he appeared to be one of the game’s brightest young pitchers.
He was traded to the Pirates in the middle of 2018 where he had a 4.30 ERA in 10 starts and followed that with a career worst 5.19 ERA in 2019. After sitting out 2020, Archer made just five starts (back in Tampa) last season.
The Twins took a flier on him this year and while his record (2-4) leaves a bit to be desired, his results have actually been good. The 33-year-old has a 3.41 ERA and 1.26 WHIP – both his best since 2016 – to go along with 52 strikeouts in 66 innings.
While Archer has not shown the ability to go deep into games – he’s thrown fewer than 80 pitches in 15 of his 16 starts and hasn’t pitched into the sixth inning in any game – he’s also limited damage, giving up more than two runs just three times all season.
But with that said, the Brewers and defending Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes have a major pitching edge.
Burnes is 7-4 on the season and ranks near the tops in baseball with a 2.20 ERA (fifth), 0.93 WHIP (sixth) and has 149 strikeouts (third). Burnes had a streak of six consecutive quality starts snapped in his last outing, but he’s still held opponents to three runs or fewer in 17 of 19 outings.
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It’s been an up-and-down season for Minnesota, in first place in the AL Central at 52-44 but just 16-18 or 17-17 in their past 34 games.
Their offense has been the bright spot of the season, quietly one of the best in the league. The Twins rank fifth in on-base percentage, sixth in batting average and sixth in slugging percentage, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if they’re able to generate some base runners against Burnes. The problem is they rank just 12th in runs scored, so they’re not capitalizing on opportunities.
Still, the Twins’ lineup is deep – they don’t have anybody who has driven in even 50 runs this year, but they have eight batters who have driven in 33 or more and that’s what makes stringing outs together against this roster so tough.
The Brewers’ numbers aren’t quite as good: ninth in slugging, 15th in OBP and 22nd in batting average, but they’re making the most of their opportunities, and have actually scored more runs this season (11th) than the Twins.
Milwaukee’s lineup, like Minnesota, is deep, with six players who have 10 home runs or more and nine players who have at least eight long balls.
The x-factor to watch for the Brewers is Hunter Renfroe, who has been arguably Milwaukee’s best player in home games. Renfroe is hitting .311 in home games this season, with nine home runs and 22 RBI to go along with a .355 OBP and .952 OPS.
For the Twins, we’re watching Luis Arraez. He went 0-for-2 when pinch hitting on Tuesday, but is hitting .338 in road games this season and is second on the team with an .824 OPS away from Target Field and leads the team with a 3.1 WAR.
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|Teams||Minnesota Twins vs Milwaukee Brewers|
|Location||American Family Field, Milwaukee, Wisconsin|
|Time||Wednesday, July 27, 2:10 p.m. EST|
|How to watch||Bally Sports North, Bally Sports Wisconsin|
Tony writes about baseball for WSN.com after recently graduating with his Masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to that, Tony was a local sports reporter for MLive Media Group, based out of Jackson, Michigan where he covered everything from high school to professional sports. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 with a degree in journalism. During his time there he covered the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams from 2013-15 and hosted a sports radio show on WDBM 89FM.More info on Tony Garcia
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