The Braves will ride a five-game winning streak into Miller Park this week for a three-game series against the Brewers. Milwaukee is another team that has been hot lately, hitting .292 while winning 15 of 20 to stay hopeful in the NL Wild Card race where they are six games out.
PED jokes (and trolling) aside, Ryan Braun is leading the way again and has put together another MVP-caliber season. He's recorded 100 RBI for the fifth straight year and has set a new season high in home runs; his 38 homers lead the NL and his next one will be the 200th of his career. Not surprisingly, he also leads the team in hits (161), batting average (.313) and OBP (.387) while also leading the NL with a .989 OPS. Oh, and he has 23 stolen bases.
However, Braun isn't the only force to be reckoned with in the Brewers lineup. Aramis Ramirez has been one of Milwaukee's hottest hitters lately, hitting .386 since August 24 with five homers and 18 RBI. Also, Rickie Weeks has shown some life, hitting .353 in his last 11 games with four home runs, all of them in September. Corey Hart is second to Braun with 27 homers and is hitting .351 with 20 RBI in his last 25 games. Hart, though, had to leave Sunday's game with a mild ankle sprain.
For a team only two games under .500, the Brewers team ERA of 4.26 ranks 13th in the NL and have allowed 644 runs, fourth-most in the NL. Since Zack Greinke's departure, Yovani Gallardo has been Milwaukee's most reliable starter. The team has won Gallardo's last eight starts and he's gone seven innings in all but his last two in that span, allowing more than two runs only twice. Closer John Axford, has largely been ineffective in 2012 but has a current string of eight straight scoreless games; his longest such streak this year is nine. Axford is part of a bullpen with a 4.62 ERA, also 13th in the NL.
Atlanta may also see former teammate Livan Hernandez, who has a 5.40 ERA in 23 games with Milwaukee. Andrelton Simmons is also expected to return to action in this series; he's been out since July 8 with a wrist injury.
Pitching matchups after the jump.
Monday, September 10, 8:10 p.m. ET
#36 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves
Dec 26, 1987
|2012 - Mike Minor||8-10||26||26||0||0||0||0||155.1||139||85||79||25||51||124||4.58||1.22|
#60 / Pitcher / Milwaukee Brewers
May 08, 1989
|2012 - Wily Peralta||1-0||2||1||0||0||0||0||7.0||8||4||4||0||4||4||5.14||1.71|
Tuesday, September 11, 8:10 p.m. ET
#15 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves
Jul 14, 1975
|2012 - Tim Hudson||14-5||24||24||1||1||0||0||153.0||144||65||61||10||45||90||3.59||1.24|
#41 / Pitcher / Milwaukee Brewers
Jul 05, 1983
|2012 - Marco Estrada||2-6||25||19||0||0||0||0||112.2||110||55||50||17||24||119||3.99||1.19|
Wednesday, September 12, 8:10 p.m. ET
#17 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves
Jun 25, 1982
|2012 - Paul Maholm||3-3||7||7||1||1||0||0||44.0||40||17||17||6||13||38||3.48||1.20|