2011 MLB Playoffs Playoffs: A Sneak Peak at Brewers/Cardinals Pitching Match Up

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2011 MLB Playoffs Playoffs: A Sneak Peak at Brewers/Cardinals Pitching Match Up
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Zack Greinke was acquired for moments like this.

Before we get started we should probably begin with one of those disclaimers you see in commercials. I release these for entertainment purposes only. First of all, anyone that bets significant money on baseball deserves what they get. The sport is more unpredictable and usually not a good long range investment.

That being said, the biggest problem with using match up data is usually the small sample size. However, since these teams played each other nearly twenty times, there should be some things we can go on. For our purposes, we will focus on the aggregate and not on individual hitters. Again, think small sample size.

Brewers

Zack Greinke— .280 (157 AB) 4 HR allowed, 32 strikeouts, 9 walks

John Axford—.143 (42 AB) 0 HR allowed, 12 strikeouts, 7 walks

Zach Braddock—.375 (8 AB) 0 HR, 1 strikeout, 1 walk

Marco Estrada—.417 (24 AB) 0 HR, 6 strikeouts, 1 walk

Latroy Hawkins—.326 (92 AB) 3 HR allowed, 14 strikeouts, 6 walks

Kameron Loe—.125 (72 AB) 1 HR allowed, 16 strikeouts, 5 walks

Francisco Rodriguez—.237 (76 AB) 1 HR allowed, 18 strikeouts, 3 walks

Takashi Saito—.269 (67 AB) 2 HR allowed, 19 strikeouts, 5 walks

Brewers Overview

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Can Jaime Garcia neutralize the Brewers home field advantage?

The Brewers ran away with the NL Central this season, but they played the Cardinals to a draw in 18 contests. What's funny is that while the Brewers were great late, they struggled more with the Cardinals late in the season. This could be a bad sign. I usually don't put a lot of stock in reliever data because of the smaller sample sizes (Zach Braddock only eight AB for instance). However, when you look at it collectively you don't have a lot of confidence.

Cardinals

Jaime Garcia -- .239 (155 AB) 4 HR, 36 strikeouts, 13 walks

Mitchell Boggs -- .304 (56 AB) 1 HR, 12 strikeouts, 8 walks

Octavio Dotel -- .308 (76 AB) 2 HR, 27 strikeouts, 10 walks

Kyle McClellan-- .212 (104 AB) 2 HR, 13 strikeouts, 8 walks

Jason Motte-- .220 (59 AB) 0 HR, 14 strikeouts, 5 walks

Arthur Rhodes-- .167 (24 AB) 0 HR, 8 strikeouts, 4 walks

Marc Rzepczynski -- .238 (21 AB) 1 HR, 6 strikeouts, 4 walks

Fernando Salas -- .200 (30 AB) 2 HR, 6 strikeouts, 4 walks

Cardinals Overview

The Cardinals have fared better than the Brewers at least in this match up. Garcia has experienced more success than Greinke and the bullpen has more pitchers that have experienced success. Of course, a lot of it has to do with who is hot right and now and who's struggling. However, things look good from this standpoint.

Game 1 Prediction

On the one hand, the pitching match ups favor the Cardinals slightly in this game. On the other hand, the Brewers are 60-24 at home this season counting all three NLDS victories. That makes this a pick em' game for our purposes. I'm going to go with the Brewers on the strength of the home field advantage, but since the pitching match up favors the Cardinals slightly it could go the other way. 

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