MLB Playoffs: 2018 NLDS Series Preview Brewers vs Rockies

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 18: The 1998 World Series trophy is seen during a ceremony prior to a game between the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on August 18, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the Blue Jays 11-6. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 18: The 1998 World Series trophy is seen during a ceremony prior to a game between the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on August 18, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the Blue Jays 11-6. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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DENVER, CO – SEPTEMBER 8: Kyle Freelland #21 (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

2018 MLB Playoffs: Rockies Have the Starters, Brewers Have the Bullpen

Despite playing in hitters haven Coors Field, the young Colorado Rockies starting pitchers demanded more attention building towards their 2018 MLB PLayoffs run.

In the Wild Card Game against the Chicago Cubs, Rockies Kyle Freeland competed head-to-head against Cubs World Series tested ace starter Jon Lester and kept Colorado right in it.

The Rockies also have German Marquez and Antonio Senzatela who have ERA+ readings above average. ERA+ is a stat that accounts for park conditions.

The Brewers have a mish-mash of starters that Manager Craig Counsell uses with caution. Hitters tend to hit pitchers better when seeing them the third time through the lineup. Therefore, Counsell takes advantage of his deep, quality bullpen by keeping a short leash on his starters and taking them out of games after going through a lineup twice.

Milwaukee has an electric closer with Jeremy Jeffress. Last season’s breakout closer, Craig Knebel struggled to begin the year, but found himself in Triple-A and returned to the big league club. Knebel recorded 33 strikeouts to just three walks during September.

The Brewers have even more depth in the bullpen. Rookie Corbin Burnes has looked good, and general manager David Stearns added White Sox closer Joakim Soria to help out before the trade deadline.

And this is all without mentioning arguably the best reliever in baseball, Josh Hader. Hader set the record for most strikeouts by a lefty reliever in a single season in 2018. Furthermore, Hader often gives Counsell two innings per appearance.

The Rockies made news by investing in relief arms during the 2017-18 offseason. Wade Davis has closed games out for Colorado. The bullpen as a whole has had its ups and downs despite its pedigree.

One matchup to watch is Rockies set up pitcher Adam Ottavino against Brewers clutch hitter Ryan Braun late in games.

In the 2011 NLCS, St Louis reliever Octavio Dotel was a Braun killer. Dotel used his big slider to strike out Braun six times in eight at-bats over their careers.

Ottavino has a similar big slider and could use it to neutralize Braun late in games here in the 2018 MLB Playoffs.

This NLDS between the Brewers and Rockies should be close, but, if the baseball gods have anything to say, the Brewers are the team of fate.

After beating the Cubs, legend Bob Uecker could be seen sobbing with happiness, dancing in the suds of champaign and Miller Beer. Robert Murray of the Athletic watched it go down.

Uecker, by now a boy again, looked to a passing Orlando Arcia.

“Orlando baby!…” Uecker reportedly yelled. “You’re my… hero! I mean that. I mean that. You’re my…hero. Thank you!”

Next. 2018 playoffs help MLB popularity. dark

Make no mistake about it, the Rockies are going to come to play. But the Brewers have more narrative to tell with a win and a march to the World Series in the 2018 MLB Playoffs.