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Brewers and Giants – It’s the B.I. Game of the Day!

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The 2008 National League Wild-card Milwaukee Brewers take on the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park at 7:05 EST today, April 9th, 2009.

TV: FSN – Milwaukee, CSN-BA – San Francisco, On the Net – MLB.tv

Radio: The Brewers can be heard on WTMJ 620 with “Mr Baseball”  Bob Uecker. The Giants can be heard on KNBR 680, KLOK 1170 in the bay area, and as always you can catch the game on MLB Game Day Audio

Here’s a closer fantasy look at the game of the day!

Probable Brewers starting pitcher: LHP Manny Parra. Charles Jay reports that Manny Parra got the job done in his two starts against the Giants last season, allowing just 14 base runners in 13 innings, not to mention just four earned runs. Parra also fanned 16 Giants in his 13 innings, and that was not far off his strikeout rate for the season (147 in 166 frames). Parra’s performance against the Giants was much better than his 1.54 WHIP ratio overall. He was 10-8 last year, and like, Cain, he is considered a pitcher with a lot of upside. In fact, Milwaukee is counting on marked improvement from him, in order to pick up the slack that the absence of C.C. Sabathia and Ben Sheets leaves in the rotation.

Coming on the heels of a breakout season in 2008, the right-handed Floyd moves into the second spot of the starting rotation. He has a 1-3 lifetime record with a 3.62 ERA against the Royals, but also has a 10-6 career mark with a 4.25 ERA at U.S. Cellular Field. Floyd entered the 2008 season with eight career victories in 40 appearances, of which 29 were starts, but led the team with 17 wins in 33 starts. Floyd also held opponents hit less through seven innings twice, coming within two outs of no-hitting the Twins on May 6. His 206 1/3 innings pitched and 145 strikeouts also stood as career highs – as reported by Scott Merkin who covers the White Sox for MLB.com

Probable Giants starting pitcher: RHP Matt Cain. Jeff Mezydlo of STATS writes Cain went 8-14 with a 3.76 ERA in 34 starts last season, and has started at least 32 games in each of his last three years. For the second straight year, however, Cain received the second-lowest run support in the majors.

Since the start of the 2007 season, the Giants scored one or no runs in 29 of Cain’s 66 starts. He’s 15-30 with a 3.71 ERA during that span after winning 13 games in 2006.

“You’d love to get five or six runs every game, but … that’s not the way the game is. It just doesn’t work that way,” Cain told the Giants’ official Web site. “When you lose a game, you think about what you could have done better— instead of pointing the finger at someone else.”

Fantasy hitting stud for the Brewers: OF Ryan Braun, OF Corey Hart, and 1B Prince Fielder.  All 3 are 27 years old or younger and will put up big numbers for your fantasy team this season.  26 year old JJ Hardy is a notch below the previous group, but has 2 solid seasons under his belt and is entering the prime of his career.

Who’s hot: OF Ryan Braun is 4 for 8 with 2 doubles and a run scored in the 1st 2 games of the series.

Worth keeping an eye on: 2B Rickie Weeks.  A lot of people have wrote Weeks off because of injuries and a low batting average.  While this may be true, he is gaining more at bats each season.  If he can raise the batting average into the .260’s to go along with the hr power and stolen base potential, he will be a nice cheap middle infield option in all leagues.

Fantasy hitting studs for the Giants: No elite hitters here.  OF Randy Winn is very solid.  3B Pablo Sandoval is a freak of nature and fun to watch.  He could be in for a good season and end up a notch below the elites. OF Fred Lewis will also be a solid starter for any fantasy squad.

Who’s hot: OF Aaron Rowand is showing early signs of life that had a lot of people anxious to own him a few years ago.  He is 4 for 7 with 3 doubles, a hr, 2 runs, a walk, and 3 rbi’s in 2 games.

Worth keeping an eye on: 2B Emmanuel Burris.  The light hitting Kent State product won’t offer much power, but if he gets over 500 ab’s and can get on base he will steal 35-40 bases.  Anyone could use that production out of a middle infielder.

Fantasy pitching studs for the Brewers: SP Yovani Gallardo.  The 23 year old kid is going to be fantastic for years to come.

Who’s hot: SP Yovani Gallardo.  Yovi pitched 6 strong innings last night while striking out 6.  RP Carlos Villanueva struck out 2 in his perfect 9th inning of work for the save.

Worth keeping an eye on: SP Manny Parra.  Parra bounced around the bullpen and rotation last season, but has found himself a home as a starter this season.  Look for him to excel and be a quality option in the middle of your fantasy rotation.

Fantasy pitching studs for the Giants: SP Tim Lincecum won the Cy Young last year and they don’t get any more studly than him right now, even with his rough start this week.  Tonight starting pitcher Matt Cain is also a stud.  Once SP Madison Bumgarner joins them, this should be an amazing rotation for several years.

Who’s hot: The Giants pitching staff has been pretty horrible, but we are only 2 games into the season and it should improve greatly.

Worth keeping an eye on: SP Jonathan Sanchez.  Sanchez may not come with a lot of wins this season, but will come with a lot of innings and strikeouts, while having a decent era and whip.  Dare I say he will be pushing the levels of the studs, and will be greatly under valued.

Fantasy Players to just stay away from: Brewers – SP Jeff Suppan.  He was the opening day starter, but it wasn’t because he deserved it.  He is just plain horrible and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up in the pen before the end of the season.  Giants – 1B/3B Rich Aurilia.  Rich has seen better days and still gets a lot of roster action based on past performances.  Stay away, he offers nothing at this point in his career.

WHAT’S NEW: The Brewers are winners again!  Despite losing CC Sabathia to the Yankees, they still have a solid staff and a great offense and can contend for the wild card.  I have my doubts that they can compete with the Cubs for the division crown though.

CONNECTIONS: Brewers OF Mike Cameron and Giants OF Randy Winn played together for the Mariners in 2003.  Brewers SP Jeff Suppan and Giants SS Edgar Renteria played for the 2004 Cardinals.

Welcome back baseball! It’s game 3 and the rubber game for the Milwaukee Brewers and the San Francisco Giants.  Thanks for checking out Baseballinstinct.com and check back for more game of the day articles.

Closing in on 25 years of following the greatest game in the world very closely. I can remember as a kid how excited I was when a player that I had watched in the minors make his major league debut. The same holds true today. We designed Baseball Instinct with that in mind; getting you the fan excited to get out and see the see the stars of tomorrow - today!


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