The Brewers had a strong weekend against the Royals, sweeping Kansas City to improve to 23-17 and retake first place in the NL Central. The team now heads down to St. Louis to face the Cardinals, who sit in last place in the division but are coming off of a sweep of the Red Sox in Boston. In the two team’s only previous matchup this season, Milwaukee took two of three at American Family Field in early April.
Owen Miller is now the only Brewer with an average over .300, as he’s slashing .314/.338/.443 with 22 hits over 70 at-bats so far this season. Christian Yelich has all of a sudden been one of the better offensive players for the Crew, improving his season slash line to .262/.341/.430 with three homers over the weekend against the Royals.
For St. Louis, they continue to rely heavily on the two-headed monster of Nolan Arenado and reigning NL MVP Paul Goldschmidt. Arenado is slashing .256/.302/.406 with six homers while Goldschmidt is slashing .313/.392/.538 with seven homers. Nolan Gorman leads the team with nine homers and 28 RBIs this season, slashing .270/.366/.565 over 36 games. Willson Contreras and William Contreras will also face off for the second time this season in St. Louis.
Probable Pitching Matchups
Monday, May 15 @ 6:45 p.m.: Freddy Peralta (4-2) vs. Jack Flaherty (2-4)
Peralta has turned in at least five innings in each of his seven starts this season, including six innings each of his last three times out. His last time out against the Dodgers, he earned the win as he allowed just one run on three hits and two walks across six innings at American Family Field. In his start against the Cardinals back on Easter Sunday, he went six innings and allowed one run on four hits and three walks with seven strikeouts in a winning performance.
Flaherty has had plenty of ups and downs this season, although lately it’s been mostly downs. He allowed three runs over five innings against the Cubs his last time out and he allowed 10 runs over 2 1⁄3 innings against the Angels on May 4. He went five innings and allowed two runs on four hits and six walks with three strikeouts against Milwaukee back on April 7.
Tuesday, May 16 @ 6:45 p.m.: Wade Miley (3-2) vs. Jordan Montgomery (2-5)
Miley had his worst start of the season last time out against the Dodgers, allowing seven runs on six hits, including three homers. Despite the rough outing, he’s still got a 3.60 ERA on the season and, like Peralta, he’s managed to go at least five innings in each of his seven starts. He didn’t face the Cardinals when they came to Milwaukee back in April.
Opposing Miley is fellow lefty Montgomery. After winning his first two starts this season, he’s lost five consecutive decisions, including a rough six-run outing against the Cubs last week. He looked good against the Brewers back in April, however, going seven innings and allowing no runs on three hits and two walks with nine strikeouts in the team’s only victory that weekend.
Wednesday, May 17 @ 6:45 p.m.: Corbin Burnes (4-2) vs. Adam Wainwright (0-0)
While Burnes has had his share of troubles this season, he’s looked better his last few times out, allowing just seven earned runs over his last six starts. Last time out against the Royals, he threw six scoreless innings, striking out seven while walking a season-high four and allowing two hits in the win.
Wainwright, who started the season on the injured list, has made just two starts this season, both of which have come in May. Both times out, he’s allowed four runs across five innings, totaling seven strikeouts and 15 hits allowed in two no decisions against the Tigers and Red Sox.
Milwaukee’s bullpen should be pretty fresh after a long relief appearance from Eric Lauer in Sunday’s series finale against the Royals. Hoby Milner and Peter Strzelecki lead the team with 19 appearances each, while Joel Payamps has 18 appearances with a 2.79 ERA so far. Devin Williams is a perfect 3-0 and 5-for-5 in save opportunities with 17 strikeouts across 12 1⁄3 innings this season.
Drew VerHagen leads the Cardinals bullpen with 19 appearances this season, although he sports a 4.35 ERA. Genesis Cabrera has 16 appearances with a 3.45 ERA, while flamethrower Jordan Hicks has struggled to a 6.19 ERA across 16 appearances himself. Ryan Helsley and Giovanny Gallegos have both had opportunities to close, combining for seven saves although also blowing four combined chances.
I’ll take the Brewers to build off of a strong weekend series and take two of three from their rivals in St. Louis behind strong pitching and opportune offense against a struggling Cardinals pitching staff.