A massive four-game series in the NL Central gets underway on Monday when the Milwaukee Brewers host the St. Louis Cardinals, who are currently tied at the top of the division with identical records. At home, the Brewers are favored with a moneyline line of -160, while the Cardinals have a moneyline of +135. The game also has an over/under of 7.5 runs.
The Brewers began June in first place but lost their hold on the division after a dreadful start to the month. Milwaukee went 1-9 over the team’s first 10 games in June, including an eight-game losing streak. But after sweeping the Reds over the weekend, the Brew Crew is now 5-2 since ending that losing streak.
As for the Cardinals, they have lost three of their last four games, dropping them back to 38-30 on the season after holding a brief lead over Milwaukee in the division. However, they are still 6-4 over their last 10 games. It’s also worth noting that these teams have already split two separate four-game series earlier this year, going 4-4 against one another this season.
Miles to Go
St. Louis will send Miles Mikolas to the mound for Monday’s series opener. The 33-year-old has been outstanding all season, going 5-4 with a 2.62 ERA over 13 starts. Mikolas isn’t striking out many batters, although his WHIP is just 0.97, and he has pitched at least eight innings in each of his last two starts, giving up just two earned runs on four hits over those 16.2 innings.
Of course, even with a few losses in recent days, the St. Louis lineup has continued to produce, scoring at least five runs in six of the team’s last nine games. Paul Goldschmidt continues to be the best hitter in the National League with a .467 average and four homers in his last seven games. The likes of Harrison Bader, Tommy Edman, Tyler O’Neill, and Brendan Donovan have also been red-hot over the last week.
Feeling the Burn
The Brewers will have ace Corbin Burnes getting the start on Monday to begin the series against the Cards. While Milwaukee’s results with Burnes on the mound have been inconsistent, he’s been outstanding, going 4-4 with a 2.52 ERA in 13 starts. Burnes has struck out 100 batters in 78.2 innings and also tossed seven scoreless innings, allowing just two hits, when he faced St. Louis last month.
The Brew Crew has also started to hit its stride offensively, averaging 6.4 runs per game over their last five games. Andrew McCutcheon has heated up lately, while Willy Adames and Hunter Renfroe have combined for five homers in Milwaukee’s last six games. However, other key figures like Christian Yelich, Luis Urias, and Omar Narvaez have all hit a slump over the past week.
The Birds Are Singing
While Burnes has been dominant lately, Mikolas has been nearly as good overall this season. The Cardinals also have more hitters who enter this series in a groove. That’s enough to give the Cards good value as an underdog in this matchup, especially when these teams have split their eight previous games this year.
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