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Series Preview: St. Louis Cardinals @ Milwaukee Brewers

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The Brewers hope to expand their MLB-best division lead

Milwaukee Brewers v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The old adage is you don’t look at the standings until Memorial Day.

Well, it’s here now and the Brewers have a 4-game lead over the second-place St. Louis Cardinals, who now come to town for a three-game set Milwaukee hopes goes better than the last series at Miller Park. In that series, the Brewers dropped 2 of 3, with the only win coming on an improbable walk-off in the Yelich-and-Braun back-to-back 2-out home run 9th inning in the middle game of the series.

The Brewers responded by taking 2 of 3 against the Cards in Busch Stadium, with the only loss coming in walkoff fashion. Now they hope to continue the good momentum they’ve had against the Cardinals recently and expand their lead in the Central.

Probable Pitchers

Monday - 1:10 p.m. CDT
Luke Weaver vs. Brent Suter

Tuesday - 6:40 p.m. CDT
Michael Wacha vs. Zach Davies

Wednesday - 12:10 p.m. CDT
Alex Reyes vs. Junior Guerra

We may only be just past the one quarter point of the season, but it’s already been a tale of two halves for Weaver. Through 10 starts, he’s put up solid enough overall numbers -- a 4.31 ERA (3.51 FIP), a 21.9 K%, and 1.1 WAR -- but those don’t quite tell the whole story. After three straight good starts to begin the season, Weaver got crushed for the next few weeks, giving up 18 earned runs in 4 starts. He’s since rebounded with a 5-inning, 0-run effort and then back-to-back 7-inning outings in which he’s given up a total of 4 runs and struck out 14.

Wacha, meanwhile, has sneakily been one of the Cardinals’ better pitchers this year, back to pitching like he was during his All-Star season of 2015. After a pair of pretty mediocre years, Wacha has gotten through his first 10 starts this year with a 2.88 ERA, although that may be a little lucky based on his 3.42 FIP. Still, he’s been a very solid starter, striking out 8 per 9 innings and keeping the ball in the park -- he’s only allowed 4 home runs in 56.1 innings to this point.

Reyes is not only the Cardinals’ best pitching prospect, he may be the best pitching prospect in all of baseball, period. He was anointed as such last year before going down with Tommy John surgery before the season even started. Working his way back this year, his rehab starts have been nothing short of incredible -- he’s struck out 44 batters in 23 innings and has allowed ZERO runs, earned or unearned, in 4 outings. That translates into a 17.2 K/9 rate, just a shade under Josh Hader’s 17.8 K/9. Still, this will be his first big league action since 2016, and we don’t really know yet how those nerves may affect him.

Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference