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Series Preview: St. Louis Cardinals @ Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers hope to close the gap in the NL Central race back home, where they’ve won 5 of 7 from the Cardinals

MLB: AUG 25 Rockies at Cardinals Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Last week’s series in St. Louis didn’t go the way the Brewers would have preferred, nearly getting no-hit in the series opener and things sliding from there until they were able to salvage a win in the series finale.

They’ll hope their fortunes change with the change in venue -- after losing 5 of their past 6 games against the Cardinals (all in St. Louis), they return to Miller Park, where they won 5 out of 7 against the Cardinals in March and mid-April.

The Cardinals have been the lone NL Central team in the race to be consistently good for most of the year (save for a bad month of May), and that’s gotten them to a 2.5-game lead over the Cubs and 4.5-game lead over the Brewers after they rather easily swept a 4-game set against the Colorado Rockies over the weekend. While the Brewers and Cubs have been treading water, the Cardinals have been quietly cruising along for most of the second half. Depending on who you ask, the Cardinals have anywhere between a 73 to 85% chance of making the playoffs.

Still, the Brewers are alive, even after losing 2 of 3 last week. The division race might be a bit of a stretch (although they were also 4.5 games back on this date last year), but they still have six opportunities to directly make up that deficit, starting tonight.

Probable Pitchers

Monday, August 26th - 6:05 p.m. CDT
Adam Wainwright vs. Gio Gonzalez

Wainwright gave up all 5 runs the Brewers scored in the rain-shorted series finale last week, and will start the first game of this series. This will be his first start in Milwaukee since April 21, 2017, when he struck out 9 and held the Brewers to 2 runs over 5 innings.

Tuesday, August 27th - 6:40 p.m. CDT
Miles Mikolas vs. Adrian Houser

This year has not been as kind to Mikolas after he re-emerged stateside with a 2.83 ERA and finished 6th in the Cy Young voting. He comes into this start with a 4.43 ERA in 26 starts. He hasn’t faced the Brewers since Opening Day, when they tagged him for 5 runs on 3 home runs over 5 innings at Miller Park.

Wednesday, August 28th - 1:10 p.m. CDT
Jack Flaherty vs. Jordan Lyles

Flaherty may currently be the hottest and most dominant pitcher in the NL. He’s allowed all of one earned run in August, for a 0.28 ERA in 32 innings while striking out 40 batters and walking just 8. The lone run against him this month came with two outs in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds on August 18th, when Eugenio Suarez took him deep. His outings this month include a holding the Cubs to just one hit in 7 shutout innings while striking out 9 and shutting out the Dodgers for 7 innings while striking out 10. You have to go back to July 2nd to find a start where he gave up more than 2 runs.

Player to Watch

Tommy Edman may be the newest St. Louis Cardinals infielder that generates irrational hatred.

The former 6th round pick made his MLB debut on June 8th and has hit reasonably well since, putting up a line of .279/.316/.433 in 201 at-bats. The Brewers held him to going 1-for-8 last week, but he’ll be coming into this series swinging a hot bat.

Edman went 7-for-16 in the four games against the Rockies, with 3 of those hits going for doubles, and driving in 2 runs while scoring 4 of his own.

Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference