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The Brewers have somehow dropped from being the division leader for most of the season to now being eight games back in their division. If they aren’t careful, they will fall too far behind in the Wild Card race. Surprisingly, the Diamondbacks have a slim chance to make the Wild Card, and who are they chasing? The two teams they just played, the Phillies, and now the Brewers.
The Brewers are using Jason Alexander for this game. He has been used in a variety of roles this season but primarily as a starter. He isn’t anything particularly special, but he can turn in performances that keep the Brewers in the game. On the year, he has a 5.29 ERA on the road, but it does seem like a lot of the damage is being done when he is in relief. After a really brutal July, Alexander found something in the bullpen and came back out and pitched well in August. He only had one start in the month, it was his most recent appearance and he went 5 innings and allowed just one earned run. Still the Brewers have lost seven of the last eight games he has appeared in. I’d say he contributed to the losing in about four of those games. Bottom line is, he isn’t a very reliable pither.
Zac Gallen, on the other hand, is a very reliable pitcher this season. Gallen has a stellar 10-2 record, but not much should be made of that. Instead, we should focus on his top 10 ERA, a 2.53 mark with 145 strikeouts, good for top 25 in baseball. I’m sure he didn’t want August to end either, as he had a 0.68 ERA in 40 innings for the month. In fact, he currently has a 27.1 scoreless inning streak right now. I’m not 100% sure, but I’d imagine that’s the best in the majors. The Diamondbacks have actually taken advantage of that as they have claimed into the Wild Card picture (even if they are just photobombing in the background). In his starts, they have won seven of his last eight outings. Maybe September will be different, but I think he has one more game in him to dominate.
I’m not sitting here saying that Gallen will go out and toss another seven innings of scoreless baseball. He obviously is locked in and has played some decent competition over the stretch (including an outing at Coors Field). I do think the Diamondbacks have the edge in this game, though. It is a bit risky, but I am confident they can get to Alexander and that Gallen will post at least another quality start. I’m playing this two ways, first the full unit play is on the Diamondbacks -1.5 at +140. The other play is Brewers team total under 3.5 at -125. I would consider Gallen to win the game for a prop, so I’ll look for that and tweet it out if I feel like it is worth it when posted.
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