The St. Louis Cardinals (79-69, 37-36 away) begin a crucial four-game series on the road against the Milwaukee Brewers (91-58, 42-32 home) starting on Monday night. The two teams sit atop the National League Central, with the Cardinals holding a three-game lead for the final spot of the NL wild-card.
Monday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:40 p.m. EST inside American Family Field in Milwaukee, WI. According to the oddsmaker, the Brewers are the betting favorite (-215), and the total over-under is at 8.
What to Know – St. Louis Cardinals
The hottest team in major league baseball rolls into the week riding an eight-game winning streak and winners of ten of their last 11 contests. St. Louis has seven games against the Brewers and seven against the Chicago Cubs remaining on their regular-season slate.
Right-hander Jake Woodruff (2-3, 4.30 ERA, 1.39 WHIP) is the expected starter for the visitors. Woodruff is looking for his first victory on the mound since July 19th. The 24-year old blanked the Brewers over 5.1 innings earlier this month, surrendering only two hits with no walks and five strikeouts.
Offensively, The Cardinals average 4.2 runs per game behind a .311 on-base percentage and .403 slugging percentage. Third baseman Nolan Arenado paces the Cardinals’ offense with 32 home runs and 99 runs driven in, while first baseman Pual Goldschmidt compliments St. Louis’ one-two punch with 26 home runs and 87 RBIs. Outfielder Tyler O’Neill carries an eight-game hitting streak into the series opener.
What to Know – Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee has a commanding leading in the NL Central and has kept the excellent season rolling with victories in seven of their last ten games. The Brewers have the third-best record in the NL and already clinched a playoff birth.
The expected starter for the Brewers is right-hander Freddy Peralta (9-4, 2.57 ERA, 0.95 WHIP). The 25-year old lasted only two innings in a loss earlier this month against St. Louis, conceding four runs on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Peralta is coming off a solid outing against the Tigers, firing 6.0 innings of no-run ball, scattering two hits with no walks and nine strikeouts.
The Brewers lineup has a .320 on-base percentage and a .400 slugging percentage, averaging 4.6 runs per game. Outfielder Avisail Garcia leads the Brewers in home runs (27), RBIs (82), and batting average (.269). Garcia missed Sunday’s contest against the Cubs with a back injury and is considered day-to-day.
The Pick is In
St. Louis has turned it on over the last ten days and enter the final few weeks of play with a high probability of locking up the second wild-card spot. Milwaukee is safely in the postseason and can rest their star players leading up to the postseason.
Peralta’s put together a fantastic season on the hill, but the Cardinals knocked him around earlier this month. Give us the hot team at plus money with the chance that the Brewers’ best offensive player rests.
Betting Pick: St. Louis Cardinals +195