- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 3, 2018

A look at the best-of-five National League Division Series between the Colorado Rockies and Milwaukee Brewers:

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Schedule: (All times EDT) Game 1, Thursday, at Milwaukee, 5:07 p.m. (FS1); Game 2, Friday, at Milwaukee, 4:15 p.m. (FS1); Game 3, Sunday, at Denver, 4:37 p.m. (MLB); x-Game 4, Monday, Oct. 8, at Denver, TBA; x-Game 5, Wednesday, Oct. 10, at Milwaukee, TBA.

x-if necessary.

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Season Series: Brewers won 5-2.

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Projected Lineups:

Rockies: CF Charlie Blackmon (.291, 29 HRs, 70 RBIs), 2B DJ LeMahieu (.276, 15, 62), LF David Dahl (.273, 16, 48) or Matt Holliday (.283, 2, 3, 12 walks, .849 OPS in 65 plate appearances), 3B Nolan Arenado (.297, 38, 110), SS Trevor Story (.291, 37, 108), RF Carlos Gonzalez (.276, 16, 64), 1B Ian Desmond (.236, 22, 88), C Chris Iannetta (.224, 11, 36).

Brewers: CF Lorenzo Cain (.308, 10s, 38, 30/37 steals, .395 OBP), RF Christian Yelich (NL-best .326, 36, 110, 22/26 steals, 1.000 OPS), 1B Jesus Aguilar (.274, 35, 108, .890 OPS), 2B Travis Shaw (.241, 32, 86) or Jonathan Schoop (.233, 21, 61 with Orioles and Brewers; .202, 4, 21 in 46 games with Brewers), LF Ryan Braun (.254, 20, 64), 3B Mike Moustakas (.251, 28, 95 with Royals and Brewers), C Erik Kratz (.236, 6, 23 in 67 games) or Manny Pina (.252, 9, 28 in 98 games), SS Orlando Arcia (.236, 3, 30 in 348 ABs) or Hernan Perez (.253, 9, 29, 11/14 steals in 316 ABs).

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Starting Pitchers:

Rockies: RH Antonio Senzatela (6-6, 4.38 ERA), LH Tyler Anderson (7-9, 4.55), LH Kyle Freeland (17-7, 2.85 ERA, lowest full-season ERA for starting pitcher in team history), RH German Marquez (14-11, 3.76, club-record 230 Ks).

Brewers: RH Brandon Woodruff (3-0, 3.61 in 19 games, 4 starts; 1-0, 0.73 over 12 1/3 IP in 7 relief appearances after Sept. 1), RH Jhoulys Chacin (15-8, 3.50, 35 starts, 156 Ks in 192 2/3 IP), LH Wade Miley (5-2, 2.57 in 16 starts), LHP Gio Gonzalez (10-11, 4.21, 171 IP with Nationals and Brewers; 3-0, 2.13 in 5 starts for Brewers).

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Relievers:

Rockies: RH Wade Davis (3-6, 4.13 ERA, led NL with team-record 43/49 saves), RH Adam Ottavino (6-4, 2.43, 112 Ks, most by a Rockies reliever), RH Scott Oberg (8-1, 2.46), RH Seunghwan Oh (2-0, 2.57 with Rockies; 4-3, 2.68 with Toronto), LH Chris Rusin (2-3, 6.20), LH Jake McGee (2-4, 6.49), RH Bryan Shaw (4-6, 5.93), LH Harrison Musgrave (2-3, 4.63).

Brewers: RH Jeremy Jeffress (8-1, 1.29, 15/20 saves in 73 games, 89 Ks in 76 2/3 IP), LH Josh Hader (6-1, 2.43, 12/17 saves in 55 games, 143 Ks in 81 1/3 IP), RH Corey Knebel (4-3, 3.58, 16/19 saves in 57 games, 88 Ks in 55 1/2 IP; 2-0, 0.00 ERA in 16 IP after Sept. 1), RH Joakim Soria (3-4, 3.12 in 66 games with White Sox and Brewers), LH Dan Jennings (4-5, 3.22 in 72 games), RH Taylor Williams (1-3, 4.25 in 56 games), RH Corbin Burns (7-0, 2.61 in 30 games), RH Freddy Peralta (6-4, 4.25 in 16 games, 14 starts).

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Matchups:

First postseason meeting between the teams. … Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell plans to open series with Woodruff on the mound in a bullpen day. One of Woodruff’s four starts came at Colorado, when he allowed seven runs on nine hits in three innings on May 11. … Chacin will start Game 2. … Story had seven homers and 18 RBIs in seven regular-season games vs. Milwaukee, his most home runs against one team. … Arenado had same number of strikeouts (seven) as hits (seven) against the Brewers. His one homer off them this year came off Knebel. … Dahl hit .429 vs. Brewers pitching. … Colorado batted .227 against Milwaukee with 13 homers and 30 RBIs in 2018. Rockies hit just .189 at Miller Park. … Colorado’s pitching staff had 5.43 ERA against Brewers. … Freeland’s 17 wins tied for second in franchise history and were the most since Ubaldo Jimenez had a team-record 19 in 2010. The left-hander also became first Rockies pitcher to reach 200 innings since Jimenez that year. Freeland, a Denver native, isn’t intimidated by pitching at higher elevation and is likely to start at home in this series. He was 10-2 with a 2.40 ERA at hitter-friendly Coors Field, lowest mark for a starter in club history. He went 7-5 with a 3.23 ERA on the road, then delivered 6 2/3 shutout innings at Wrigley Field in wild-card game against Cubs. … Colorado’s 57 wins against teams at or above .500 led the majors. … Rockies had 46 comeback wins, third-most in club history. … Brewers outscored Rockies 40-31 this year, including 11-10 win in 10 innings at Coors Field on May 11. … Yelich hit .333 with one homer and four RBIs vs. Colorado. He is career .273 hitter with two homers and 18 RBIs in 40 games against Rockies. … Left-handed hitters were 8 for 89 (.090) with one homer against Hader.

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Big Picture:

Rockies: Fell just short of first division title in 26-year history of the team with 5-2 loss Monday at Dodger Stadium in tiebreaker for NL West crown. That sent Rockies (91-72) on road in wild-card game for second consecutive season under manager Bud Black. They lost 11-8 at Arizona last year, but outlasted Chicago Cubs 2-1 in 13 innings Tuesday night at Wrigley Field on go-ahead single by backup catcher Tony Wolters. Game lasted nearly 5 hours and was longest win-or-go-home postseason game in major league history. It also was third big game over three days in three different time zones for Rockies, who finally got a day to rest and catch their breath Wednesday in Milwaukee. … Colorado is making back-to-back playoff appearances for first time. … Arenado led NL in homers, and Story set career high with 37. Blackmon joined Willie Mays and Duke Snider as only NL center fielders to have at least three seasons with 25 homers and 100 runs. … After an eight-game home losing streak ended June 19, team went 36-14 at Coors Field. The .720 winning percentage was best mark in NL during that time. … Rockies went 19-9 in September, their second-most wins in the month behind 20 in 2007.

Brewers: Won final eight games including tiebreaker for NL Central title, beating Cubs 3-1 on Monday at Wrigley Field in 163rd game of regular season. Milwaukee (96-67) is making first playoff appearance since 2011, last time team won division. … Brewers had best record in National League and are seeking first postseason win since Oct. 13, 2011, when they beat St. Louis 4-2 in Game 4 of NLCS won in six games by Cardinals. … Yelich’s monster second half carried Brewers to division championship and home-field advantage throughout NL playoffs. He batted .367 with 25 homers and 67s RBIs in 65 games after All-Star break, making him NL MVP favorite. Nearly became first Triple Crown winner in National League since 1937. … Brewers are back in playoffs just three seasons after beginning roster rebuild that started under former GM Doug Melvin. David Stearns took over in October 2015 after enjoying similar success as assistant GM with Houston. Stearns brought Cain back to Milwaukee as a free agent after he left Royals around same time team traded for Yelich from Marlins. … Aguilar went from bench bat to slugging staple at first base, taking advantage of opportunity after Eric Thames missed time earlier in year with injuries. … Braun is enjoying late-season resurgence, hitting .344 with five homers and 12 RBIs since Sept. 21. … Moustakas was acquired from Kansas City in late July to join Cain in giving Brewers two key players from 2015 Royals team that won World Series.

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Watch For:

- Story Time. It’s been a big season for Story, the first shortstop in major league history with at least 40 doubles, 30 homers and 25 stolen bases. He hurt his elbow late in the season at Los Angeles, missing five games, but has quickly picked up where he left off. Story had three hits in wild-card game and scored decisive run in 13th inning.

- Show Stopper. Yelich is making his first playoff appearance after spending first five seasons with Marlins. He hit .458 with five homers and 17 RBIs during Brewers‘ eight-game winning streak to end regular season.

- Flashing Leather. It seems almost every game, Arenado turns in a highlight-reel play at third base. He’s won five straight Gold Gloves.

- Throwing Heat. Brewers boast a lot of quality options in deep bullpen. Hader has the ability to go multiple innings in a shutdown role late in games. Built-in off days should help keep the lights-out lefty fresh. Jeffress has taken over the closer role, but Knebel re-established himself in September after struggling earlier this season.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports


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