The Milwaukee Brewers are hosting the St. Louis Cardinals this weekend for a four game series at Miller Park. Game two of the series will take place on Friday night, after the Brewers won the series opener 11-3 over the Cardinals. This is a very important series for both teams, as they are in a tight race in the National League Central Division.
Both the Cardinals and Brewers are trying to keep pace with the Chicago Cubs in what has been a competitive division all season long. The two teams acquired talented players this offseason in an attempt to increase the talent on their roster. This is the fourth series between these two rivals this season. The St. Louis Cardinals are +102 against the Brewers in game two of the series.
Brewers Appear As Real Threat To Cubs
The Milwaukee Brewers led the National League Central division for much of 2017, but eventually saw the Chicago Cubs blow past them in the final month of the season. Milwaukee missed out on reaching the playoffs as a Wild Card by just one game in 2017. With a revamped roster, it appears that the Brewers are an even bigger threat to the Chicago Cubs this season.
Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich were brought in this winter to provide some offense, and both players have delivered in 2018. Lorenzo Cain sets the table for the Brewers and has an on base percentage of .389 which leads the team. Yelich leads the team with his .296 batting average and has also blasted 10 home runs for the team. The addition of these two players might be enough to push the Brewers past the Cubs this season.
Junior Guerra will start for the Brewers in game two of the series. Guerra has been solid throughout his career, but is pitching his best season so far. Guerra is just 3-5, but has a very impressive 2.89 ERA through 13 starts this season. The Brewers hope that Guerra can shut down the Cardinals on Friday night.
Cardinals Struggling To Score Runs
The St. Louis Cardinals appear to be a much improved team in 2018, but they must figure out a way to score more runs. The Cardinals rank just 21st in Major League Baseball in runs scored, and have several key hitters struggling at the plate. Jose Martinez leads the team in most offensive categories, but Tommy Pham has taken the club lead with his 12 home runs.
Dexter Fowler and Kolten Wong are two of the main culprits for the Cardinals offensive troubles this season. Former Chicago Cub, Fowler, is hitting just .166 and has only connected for five home runs. Kolten Wong is only slightly better than Fowler, batting .189 with the same number of home runs. St. Louis needs to get more production from these two veterans if they want to factor into the playoff race.
The Cardinals will send young Jack Flaherty to the mound on Friday night. Flaherty has bounced back and forth between the minors and Major Leagues this season, but appears to have a future as a Cardinals’ starter. Flaherty is 3-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 2018, and is coming off a dominant start against the Cubs over the weekend. St. Louis hopes the young Flaherty can keep the Brewers offense in check in game 2.
Flaherty Pitches Cards To Win
This should be a very competitive series between division rivals, and game two should be no different. The Brewers are 21-14 at Miller Park this season, and look to improve on that record on Friday night. Milwaukee hopes that Junior Guerra can deliver a quality start before turning the ball over to their dominant bullpen.
The St. Louis Cardinals must find a way to score more runs, but will have a tough task this weekend against the Brewers. The Cardinals have been dealing with a number of injuries to their starting rotation, but Jack Flaherty has filled in nicely for them this season. Look for Flaherty to give the Cardinals another great outing, and for their offense to find just enough scoring. Bet the St. Louis Cardinals +102 over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.