As it stands the Milwaukee Brewers still have a chance of winning the division, but statistically, their best chance at the playoffs will come via the Wildcard. And if a one game playoff to advance to the NLDS happens for Milwaukee, a big question on many fans minds is “Who will be their starting pitcher?”
The answer to this question comes down to two players, Jhoulys Chacin and Wade Miley. Just this past Thursday on the Reviewing the Brew Podcast we had this same debate. At the time my vote was for Chacin because of his consistency. However after last nights performance I began looking at recent stats and Miley has been better as of late. So that leaves us wondering, do the Milwaukee Brewers choose consistency with Chacin or the hot-hand Miley?
2018 Season Totals
Over the course of the season, Chacin has been the MIlwaukee Brewers best and most consistent pitcher. Through 33 games, Chacin has accumulated 14 wins, an ERA of 3.61, a WHIP of 1.198 and has held his opponents to a batting average of just .227. Through out the ups and downs of the season, Chacin has been the constant in Milwaukee’s starting rotation and has been the best pitcher overall.
Miley has a number of successful outings this season as well, but he has been limited. Miley spent the first few months of the season on the DL or rehabbing at Colorado Springs. Since his return in July, he has pitched quite well. In his 14 starts, Miley has an ERA of 2.08, a WHIP of 1.181 and opponents are batting only .229 against him.
Although Miley has been great in his outings this season, he is pitching far better than his career averages. For his career, Miley has an ERA of 4.24, a WHIP of 1.387 and opposing batters have an average of .269. Up to this point in the season, Miley has outperformed his career averages by a lot. This leads us to wonder, how long can he keep these performances up?
Chacin has been Mr. Reliable for the Milwaukee Brewers all season but has not fared as well in the month of September. Through 18 2/3 innings pitched, Chacin has given up 12 runs with an ERA of 4.34 and three home runs. Now these numbers aren’t awful, but they aren’t at the level he’s been pitching at for a majority of the season.
Miley on the other hand, has been pitching his best this month. Through 16 innings Miley has given up only three runs, has an ERA of 1.69 and a WHIP of 0.930. His command has been great as he has only issued three walks and batters have struggled to get on base as he locates his pitches low in the strike zone, making contact difficult.
Chacin or Miley?
Regardless of who the pitcher is, if any sort of trouble arises, they will be pulled and the game will be in the hands of the bullpen.
Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell will have a number of things to consider. One key component could be whether the opposing team is heavy with right-handed batters or left-handed batters.
If facing a heavy right-handed lineup, Chacin could be Counsell’s choice since right handers are batting just .185 against him on the season. On the other hand Miley as a lefty could face a heavy left-handed lineup, where lefties are batting .229 against him. Both pitchers have earned the opportunity to start in the Wildcard game, so a big deciding factor could come down to match
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If the Milwaukee Brewers are looking at consistency versus the hot-hand, the hot-hand is the right choice. There have been a number of teams who have made a post season run because they got hot at the right time. In a win or go home situation, the Brewers should go with the pitcher who is pitching the best at that moment. And at this time, the choice is Miley.