With four series left to play, three coming against divisional teams, the Milwaukee Brewers look to be in a good position to win the NL Central division. Currently holding a 6.5-game lead, the Brewers will be in St. Louis to take on the last-place Cardinals, and we’ll preview the game before going over my play for the first five innings.
It’s been a season to forget for the St. Louis Cardinals, and they are two games from being eliminated from Wild Card contention. The focus for the remainder of the season comes down to two things: get the young guys reps and get Adam Wainwright to his 200th career win.
The veteran right-hander picked up his first win since June 17th during his most recent outing against the Orioles. Wainwright worked five innings and allowed two earned runs on seven hits on the way to his 199th win, and now he’ll take on a Brewers lineup that was unable to secure a sweep over the Nationals yesterday, falling to Washington 2-1.
Milwaukee scored 14 runs in the series' first two games but failed to record an extra-base hit during yesterday’s loss. The Brewers finished with just six hits and left 23 runners on base, so they’ll be looking to put that poor performance behind them when they take on Wainwright tonight.
Taking the mound opposite the likely future Hall of Famer will be Brewers starter Freddy Peralta. The strikeout machine dominated the Marlins for this 12th win of the year in his last outing, throwing 6.1 innings with nine punchouts and one earned run allowed. While Wainwright has struggled to find the win column, Peralta has lived in it since August, picking up a win in six of his eight starts since August 1st.
Peralta’s matchup tonight is a Cardinals lineup that avoided a sweep yesterday with a 6-5 win over the Phillies. In their winning effort, Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado continued to produce at a high level, as they went a combined 4-8 with two doubles, a home run, and five RBIs.
The Brewers F5 run-line of (-.5) is currently priced at (-120), and I’ll be backing them for my play. As a baseball fan, I hope to see Wainwright pick up his 200th win, but I don’t think it comes tonight. Milwaukee’s F5 team total over is 18-9 over their last 27 games, so they have had no problem finding the run column early.
Against right-handed pitching the last 30 days, the Brewers' offense is hitting .254 and ranks 15th in OPS, 13th in wRC+, 12th in wOBA, and 11th in hard-hit percentage. While these numbers may not jump off the page, they are solid and can undoubtedly get the job done against Wainwright. The Cardinals righty is in the 4th percentile in barrel percentage, 1st percentile in xBA, and has a 5.86 xFIP at home this season.
On the other side, Freddy Peralta is in the 93rd percentile in strikeout percentage and 87th percentile in xERA and xBA. Peralta serves as a brutal matchup for a Cardinals lineup that is hitting .229 with .695 OPS and .305 wOBA against right-handed pitching over the past month. With how he’s thrown recently, Peralta gives Milwaukee an excellent chance to dominate both sides of the ball through the first five innings.
Milwaukee Brewers F5 (-.5)(-120)