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Brewers (62-81) vs Cardinals (89-54) series preview

The Brewers have a great chance to knock the Cardinals off their perch atop the NL Central.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Brewers have no chance to make the playoffs but they still have the ability make an impact on them. Over the weekend Milwaukee lost 3 games to Pittsburgh. Now the Pirates are just 2.0 games back of the division leading Cardinals. Both teams--along with the Cubs--are almost guaranteed a playoff spot. The question is who will go in as the NL Central Champions: Pirates or Cardinals?

If you love to hate the Cardinals then the Brewers have been right on track. By losing 3 out of 4 to the Pirates in their last series the Brewers have now afforded themselves a tremendous opportunity to knock the Cardinals off their pedestal. As they're just 2.0 games ahead of the Pirates the Brewers could help those teams switch places.

The Pirates are in the middle of a four game series against the Cubs including a double header today. If the Brewers can sweep the Cardinals and the Pirates sweep the Cubs they'll move into first place. Double bonus: The Cubs would be pretty much guaranteed to only get the second wild card spot. If the Brewers take two out of three and the Pirates do as well then they'll be tied with the Cardinals.

It's not as fun as rooting for the Brewers to make the playoffs themselves. But rooting for the Cardinals to lose can be fun too. The two teams will meet one last time in a four game series next weekend. So the Brewers will definitely have a large role to play in the way the NL Central shakes out.

Offensive Spotlight

One might think a player like Matt Holliday or Yadier Molina would lead this team's offense but it's actually two of their youngest players. Randall Grichuk (281/332/563, 141 wRC+) and Stephen Piscotty (330/371/511, 140 wRC+) have given the Cardinals their best offensive threats.

Pitching Match-Ups

Tuesday September 15, 7:10 pm CST: Ariel Pena vs Carlos Martinez

Martinez: 24.3 K%, 8.3 BB%, .252 BAA, 1.32 WHIP, 0.66 HR/9, 54.4 GB%, 3.12 ERA, 3.22 FIP

Martinez throws a fastball (94-96), curveball, and change-up.

Wednesday September 16, 7:10 pm CST: Wily Peralta vs Jaime Garcia

Garcia: 18.5 K%, 6.2 BB%, .212 BAA, 1.01 WHIP, 0.35 HR/9, 62.5 GB%, 2.33 ERA, 3.01 FIP

Garcia throws a fastball (90-91), slider, change-up, and curveball.

Thursday September 17, 7:10 pm CST: Jimmy Nelson vs John Lackey

Lackey: 18.7 K%, 6.1 BB%, .252 BAA, 1.23 WHIP, 0.84 HR.9, 45.1 GB%, 2.89 ERA, 3.64 FIP

Statistics courtesy of FanGraphs