GAME 3 – Dallas Keuchel vs. Jimmy Nelson
Keuchel struggled with his control in the season opener but managed to grind out a win. Keuchel walked four batters in seven innings, while all last season, he had one game of four walks. He had five strikeouts and managed to work out of some jams to earn the victory. Keuchel has minimal appearances versus current Brewers, but Hill, Braun and Jonathan Lucroy all have had success hitting him. Expect the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner to focus more on the strike zone and shut down the opposing lineup.
Jimmy Nelson enters this season as the number three starter. He had a decent season in 2015, which was his first full year, earning 11 wins and compiling a serviceable 4.11 ERA. If he is to take the next stride in his development, he will need to improve performance against left-handed hitters, which last year batted .302 against hit pitching. To combat this issue, he has developed a curveball to use instead of a changeup. However, his lone mistake in his season debut was a changeup knocked out of the park by Brandon Crawford. He pitched well against Houston in an exhibition game this spring but look for the Astros’ left-handed batters to get some good swings off of Nelson.
Prediction: Astros – 4 Brewers – 1
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