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Padres vs Brewers: Three things to watch

The red hot San Diego Padres are set to take on the first place Milwaukee Brewers in a potential NL playoff matchup.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at San Diego Padres Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports

Potential 2022 NL Playoff matchup tonight at Petco Park. The San Diego Padres will host and play the NL Central leader and favorite Milwaukee Brewers for the first time this season. Here are three things you should watch between these two premier ball clubs.

Brewers starting pitching

Like last season, the Brewers will rely heavily on their starting rotation. In 2021 they ranked 2nd in starter ERA and WAR. While the rotation may not be as on point this season they still rank 10th ERA and 3rd in WAR.

The Padres won’t face former friar Eric Lauer, who is off to a hot start. So, that may actually be a good thing for San Diego.

Early runs on Monday and Tuesday night may be challenging. In the two-night games, Adrian Houser and Corbin Burnes will make the start. The pair have combined for 15 starts this season. In those 15 starts, the duo has shut down the opposing offenses to 2 runs or less 10 times, marking that at a 67% clip. The Padres will have to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves.

Wednesday on the other hand the Padres should have the edge vs Aaron Ashby. In his three starts this season, Ashby has allowed three runs or more twice. Ashby has been much more effective out of the pen as opposed to his 4.61 starter ERA.

Poor on the road in May

This month the Brewers are 4-5 on the road including a series loss at Atlanta and at Cincinnati. Two teams the Padres handled without any stress. Now, baseball is a tricky game and that doesn’t guarantee a series win by the Padres. But, I would be shocked if the Padres don’t keep Milwaukee below .500 on the road this season after the three-game series.

While pitching is their strong suit, on the road this month, Milwaukee only kept opposing teams under three runs just once in nine games.

Start cookin’ at home

The Padres have the best record in all of baseball on the road. But wouldn’t that be much sweeter if they started playing like that at home? Despite seven fewer home games, they have the same amount of losses at home (7) as they do on the road.

Currently, San Diego is 4th in average attendance per home game. Don’t let that advantage go to waste.

In the 17 home games this season, only Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer have a home batting average above .207. Yes, on-base percentage is good such as working the count for a walk. But if no one else is putting together hits to advance runners without having to sacrifice an out, it sort of cancels out the walk. The same two players [Machado and Hosmer] are the only hitters to have an RBI in 27% of the home games this season. Translation: more than 4 RBIs at home this season.

Padres are off to a hot start, if they start winning at the same rate at home as they do on the road, this team would move into first place in the NL within a matter of a few days.