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Miller time: Phillies vs. Brewers series preview

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The Phillies have had better luck in Milwaukee the past few years

Milwaukee Brewers v Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies hope to have more success against Yasmani Grandal this time around
Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

When the Brewers came to Philadelphia last week, it was a successful trip for the visitors. It may seem like the Brewers have dominated the rivalry lately, but surprisingly, the Phillies have done fairly well in Milwaukee in recent seasons. Over the past three seasons, the Phillies have a 5-4 record in Miller Park, and they’ve kept their arch-nemesis (you know who I’m talking about) to a merely excellent .344 batting average as opposed to his incredible .417 career mark at Citizens Bank Park.

Milwaukee Brewers

Record: 29-22, Second place in National League Central

The last time they met

Ryan Braun and Yasmani Grandal did as they so often do against the Phillies, leading the Brewers to three wins in the four-game series.

Since then?

The Brewers have gone 2-3 since that series, annoyingly dropping two out of three to the Braves. If you’re going to dominate one team in the division, the polite thing would be to dominate all of them.

Silent Yel?

Christian Yelich has been insanely hot at Miller Park this season, putting up a slash line of .406/.524/1.141.

It’s not exactly unwelcome news for the Phillies that he’s dealing with back spasms and his status for the weekend is questionable. If he is able to play, it might not be a bad idea for the Phillies be liberal with the use of the intentional walk.

Or maybe not

The problem with walking Yelich is that the Phillies will still have to deal with Braun and Grandal, and putting extra base runners on board for those guys seems like a bad idea.

Speaking of Grandal

Here’s something to think about:

On the other hand

Does anyone regret having J.T. Realmuto on the team? Not only has his defense been excellent all season, he’s starting to heat up at the plate too. Over the past two weeks, he’s got an OPS of .864 with three home runs.

Hold the brakes on the Moustakas hype

After Mike Moustakas had some big hits against the Phillies, there were a few fans lamenting the team not pursuing him in free agency.

However, after a fast start to the season, Moose has cooled off a bit. He’s sporting an on base percentage of just .286 over the past two weeks.

Braun:Phillies::Franco:Brewers?

Obviously Moustakas has been better than Maikel Franco this season, but there’s reason to hope that might change this weekend. In nine career games at Miller Park, Franco has an on base percentage of .515 with four home runs. He’s got a long way to go before he can become the Brewers’ version of Ryan Braun, but he’s certainly off to a great start.

If a trip to Miller Park can’t get Franco going, it’s possible that nothing will.

Happy homecoming

Jean Segura spent most of his first four seasons playing for the Brewers, so this will serve as something of a homecoming for him. The Brewers may not be all that happy to see him though. He’s hit well all season, but was especially good when the Brewers visited Philadelphia, going 6-17 with two home runs.

Brewers’ scheduled pitchers

Chase Anderson has bounced between the rotation and bullpen this season. Sure, his numbers look good, but just how good could he be if they’re not confident enough to leave him in one role? Seems strange the Brewers would choose this weekend to put him back in the rotation considering his poor performance against the Phillies in the past.

Next up is Jhoulys Chacin. His thoroughly mediocre career has continued along at a mediocre clip this season. He’s not really exceptional in any area, unless you want to count hitting batters with pitches. If the Phillies want to get some runners on base, they might want to lean into a pitch or two.

Brandon Woodruff has been on a roll lately, not allowing more than two earned runs in any of his past five starts - including his six shutout innings against the Phillies. However, Woodruff has been significantly better away from Miller Park in his career, with a home ERA more than two runs higher than his away mark. So there’s a good chance that the Phillies will experience more success this time around.

Prediction

Much like in previous years, the Phillies fare better in Milwaukee than they did in Philadelphia, and take two out of three.