The St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers will begin a very important three game series on Friday night at Busch Stadium. The Brewers have struggled of late, winning just three of their last nine contests. The Cardinals saw their eight game winning streak snapped on Thursday night when they fell to the Nationals.
Both the Brewers and Cardinals trail the Cubs in the NL Central, but are battling it out for a Wild Card spot. Milwaukee holds a slim lead for the top spot in the Wild Card race. The Cardinals have closed the gap in recent weeks and are now just one game behind the Phillies for the second spot. The St. Louis Cardinals are -129 in their game against the Brewers on Friday.
Brewers Trying To Find Pitching
The biggest issue failing the Brewers this month has been consistency from their pitching staff. Freddy Peralta will make the start for the Brewers in the series opener, and is coming off of a terrible start. The right hander gave up seven hits and seven earned runs in just three innings against the Atlanta Braves last weekend. The Brewers need Peralta to give them a better effort in this one.
First baseman Jesus Aguilar has continued his terrific season for the Brewers. The slugger has belted 29 home runs to go along with 87 runs batted in for the Milwaukee team. Newcomers Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain have also been great in their first season with the Brewers. The potent lineup will need to score plenty of runs in support of a shaky pitching staff.
Cardinals Offense On Fire
The Cardinals offense is the biggest reason for their recent surge in the playoff race. Matt Carpenter has been the best player in the National League since early July, and has belted 33 homers to lead the National League. Young Harrison Bader has also provided a spark for the Cardinals offense, while also playing terrific defense in centerfield.
Young Jack Flaherty will make the start for the Cardinals on Friday night. He is 6-6 with a 3.22 earned run average in 19 starts with the Cardinals this season. Flaherty has won his last two starts, and pitched well against the Brewers in a start on June 22. The Cardinals will count on a young pitching staff to lead them in the final six weeks of the season.
Cards Win Series Opener
This series could go a long ways towards determining who will reach the playoffs in the National League. The Cardinals have been the best team in baseball since firing Mike Matheny as their manager, but the Brewers still hold a slim lead. The Brewers know that the winning the series opener could take a ton of pressure off.
St. Louis has been dominant at Busch Stadium recently, and they get the big edge of playing at home this weekend. The Cardinals feature a talented young pitching staff, and their veterans are carrying the offense. Look for St. Louis to win the series opener and continue winning all weekend. Bet the Cardinals -129 over the Brewers on Friday night.
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