The top two teams in the National League Central conclude their series and final time meeting during the regular season when the Milwaukee Brewers (82-72, 42-31 home) and St. Louis Cardinals (90-65, 39-38 away) take the field. St. Louis opened up the series with a 6-2 victory on Tuesday night.
The first pitch of Wednesday’s divisional tilt is at 7:40 p.m. EST inside American Family Field in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Brewers are the betting favorite at -140, and the over/under run total is seven.
What to Know – St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis clinched the NL Central in Tuesday’s victory and can put things on cruise control over the final handful of contests. The Cardinals own a 7.5-game lead over the Brewers in the division.
Southpaw Jose Quintana (6-6, 3.03 ERA, 1.22 WHIP) is the expected starter to toe the rubber for the Cardinals. Acquired mid-season, the veteran hurler, has been nearly unhittable since joining the roster. The 33-year-old is 3-1 2.14 ERA through ten starts.
A pair of infielders have cranked out 30+ home runs a piece this season in the heart of the Cardinals lineup. Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado have combined for 65 home runs and 214 runs batted in between the two All-Stars. The veteran Albert Pujols is second on the team with 21 home runs in 104 games, hitting his 700th home run last week.
The Cardinals score 4.8 runs per game while hitting .253 as a team, ninth in the league. The pitching staff for St. Louis sits ninth in the MLB also with a 3.76 team earned run average.
What to Know – Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers can’t win the division but are still fighting for one of the three Wild Card spots in the NL. Milwaukee is only 1.5 games back of the Philadelphia Phillies for the final spot in the playoff picture with plenty of games remaining.
The Brewers will lean on right-hander Brandon Woodruff (12-4, 3.18 ERA, 1.09 WHIP) to get Milwaukee back in the win column. Woodruff has won his last three outings, racking up double-digit strikeout totals in all three and allowing just four earned runs over 20.0 innings.
Rowdy Tellez and Willy Adames are Milwaukee’s version of Goldschmidt and Arenado. The two sluggers have driven in 183 runs combined, thanks to 65 home runs. Christian Yelich leads the team with a .253 batting average and 95 runs scored.
Milwaukee is 22nd in the majors averaging 4.6 runs per game and batting .235. The Brewers’ pitching staff is 13th in the MLB, sporting a 3.90 team ERA.
The Pick is In
With the Cardinals clinching the division last night, expect skipper Oliver Marmol to give some of his key starters a day of rest after a night of celebration.
The window for Milwaukee is still open but closing quickly, and they need to win and win now. Woodruff buckles down on the mound and gets it done at home.
The Pick: Milwaukee Brewers ML