After going out last off-season and making the headline-grabbing trades for Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum, the Milwaukee Brewers entered 2011 with three No. 1-caliber starters.

With Yovani Gallardo, of course, being the third.

Milwaukee's revamped rotation was among the biggest reasons the Brewers won the National League Central Division title and are hosting the NL Division Series beginning Saturday afternoon at Miller Park.

Yet it's Gallardo - the lone home-grown prospect in the Brewers' rotation - who will take the mound for Game 1 against the NL West-champion Arizona Diamondbacks.

It's a huge honor for the right-hander, who comes in on the heels of three consecutive strong starts in which he has averaged 12 strikeouts against just one walk and allowed a total of four earned runs.

"I'm very confident going into it," he said before the Brewers' workout Friday afternoon. "It's being able to stay healthy the whole year. And going out there in Game 1, I'm just going to go out there and do the same things I've been doing all year."

And what Gallardo has done in 2011 has been impressive.

He has set career highs in starts with 33 and innings pitched with 2071/3, wins with 17 and strikeouts with 207, becoming the first Brewers pitcher to fan 200 or more batters three times. He has posted a career-best 3.52 earned-run average over the course of an entire season.