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Game Thread #69: Milwaukee Brewers (38-30) vs St. Louis Cardinals (38-30)

The battle for first place begins tonight as Corbin Burnes takes on Miles Mikolas

Milwaukee Brewers v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The best of the NL Central matchup for the third time this season, as the Brewers take on the Cardinals for four games starting Monday. The Brewers and Cardinals enter Monday tied atop the Central Division, both with 38-30 records. The Brewers send out reigning Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes to face off against Miles Mikolas.

Mikolas comes into this match-up fresh off the best start of his career. Last time out against the Pirates, Mikolas was about an inch away from throwing a no-hitter, as Cal Mitchell hit a two-out, two-strike ground-rule double just past Harrison Bader's reach. Mikolas has been the team’s ace so far in 2022, leading the team in ERA (2.62), wins (5), and strikeouts (66) while also posting a 0.97 WHIP, and 3.36 FIP. Coming off a season limited by injuries, Mikolas is showing the best form of his career, posting a 7.2 SO/9 in 2022.

Meanwhile, Corbin Burnes has seen a slight regression from his dominating form last season but has still shown the stuff that makes him one of the best pitchers in the league. He enters Monday second in the league in strikeouts at 100 and 10th in WHIP at 0.95. His best start of the season came against these Cardinals, when he went 7.0 innings, striking out 11 while giving up just two hits. In his career against the Cardinals, Burnes is 3-3 with a 3.33 ERA and striking out 72 in 12 appearances.

Monday will see the return of Josh Hader to the Brewers bullpen as he was on the paternity list last week. Hader has again been one of the best closers in baseball, giving up just two runs and six hits in 19.2 innings. He rejoins a bullpen that allowed zero runs across the three-game sweep of the Reds.