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Series Preview: St. Louis Cardinals @ Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers’ 2019 Championship season begins with a series against one of their biggest rivals

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Brewers have one of the toughest April schedules in baseball, and it starts with four games against a much-improved Cardinals team that will look to unseat them at the top of the division and reclaim a spot in the playoffs.

Milwaukee has had the Cardinals’ number in recent years, having not lost the season series against them since 2016 and going 11-8 against them in each of the last two seasons. This is a different team, though, with a big offseason acquisition for the second year in a row.

The Brewers will also be heading into their first series of the 2019 Championship Season without two of their most reliable weapons in the bullpen, and their three relatively unproven young rotation arms to follow Jhoulys Chacin’s Opening Day start.

Probable Starters

Thursday, March 28th - 1:10 p.m. CDT
Miles Mikolas vs. Jhoulys Chacin

Mikolas vs. the Brewers in 2018: 4 starts, 24.2 innings, 11 ER, 4 HR, 2 BB, 22 K

Friday, March 29th - 7:10 p.m. CDT
Jack Flaherty vs. Freddy Peralta

Flaherty vs. the Brewers in 2018: 34 strikeouts in 4 starts (23.1 innings) with a 1.93 ERA

Saturday, March 30th - 6:10 p.m. CDT
Dakota Hudson vs. Brandon Woodruff

Dakota Hudson is a pitcher making his first Major League start in this series, and not the name of a character in a 90s teen drama.

Sunday, March 31st - 1:10 p.m. CDT
Michael Wacha vs. Corbin Burnes

Burnes makes his first career start after making 30 appearances in the bullpen last season.

Previous Meeting

September 24th-26th, 2018
The Brewers swept the Cardinals in St. Louis by a total series score of 20-7 as part of their 7-game win streak to close the 2018 season, forcing a Game 163 against the Cubs. The series finale saw a 2-1 Brewers win in which Christian Yelich went 0-for-0 with 5 walks and the tying run was thrown out at home in the bottom of the 8th — but not before Erik Kratz whiffed on the tag the first time before getting the out on a second try. The sweep clinched the Brewers’ first playoff berth since 2011.

Player to Watch

The Arizona Diamondbacks traded Paul Goldschmidt to St. Louis for a fairly weak return of Luke Weaver, Carson Kelly, Andy Young, and a competitive balance round B pick, figuring they should get what they can for a guy who was going to test free agency. Then Goldschmidt signed an extension with St. Louis after playing with them for roughly three weeks in spring training.

Now the Brewers will have to deal with Goldschmidt in the NL Central for what’s likely the rest of his career. If you feel like Goldschmidt has killed the Brewers his entire career, you’d be right — he has a .366/.478/.652 line with 10 home runs and 17 doubles against the Brewers in 46 career games.

The big guy will now slide into the middle of a lineup that already had three guys with 20-plus home runs last year (Matt Carpenter, Marcell Ozuna and Yadier Molina) and another that was close to that mark (Paul DeJong).

Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference