The No. 6 Arizona Diamondbacks will take on the No. 3 Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Wild Card Round in the 2023 MLB playoffs. The Diamondbacks edged out the Cubs and the Reds for the final Wild Card spot despite losing the last four games of the regular season, while the Brewers clinched the NL Central title.
Let’s take a look at the starting pitchers for the best-of-three series.
Diamondbacks vs. Brewers starting pitchers
Game 1: Brandon Pfaadt (3-9, 5.72 ERA)
Game 2: Zac Gallen (17-9, 3.47 ERA)
Game 3: Merrill Kelly (12-8, 3.29 ERA)
Pfaadt had two runless outings in September — 5.2 innings against the White Sox on the road, and 5.1 against the Cubs at home. However, he has struggled to keep his ERA down outside of those two games this month, as Arizona’s top pitching prospect struggles to get adjusted to the Majors. Giving him the ball in Game 1 is a tall task, but with Gallen and Kelly on short rest after pitching last weekend, it’s the team’s only option.
We can expect to see Gallen and Kelly take the mound in the other two games of the series if it goes to the full three, but we don’t have an official rotation schedule for Games 2 and 3.
Game 1: Corbin Burnes (10-8, 3.39 ERA)
Game 2: Freddy Peralta (12-10, 3.86 ERA)
Game 3: TBD
Burnes looked excellent in September with three runless outings — eight innings against the Yankees, five against the Marlins, and four in a tuneup last week against the Cardinals. Earlier this season, he kept the D-Backs runless over eight innings on the road, but he struggled in the Brewers’ homestand against Arizona in June (seven runs allowed in five innings).
With Brandon Woodruff now out for at least the Wild Card series and possibly the entire postseason, Peralta slides up into the Game 2 role — and Game 3, if necessary, is anyone’s guess, with Wade Miley being the most likely of the Brewers’ options.