When the St. Louis Cardinals (3-1, 0-0 Away) collide with the Milwaukee Brewers (3-3, 0-0 Home) Thursday night, both National League Central crews will start their second divisional series of the young season.
The defending division-champion Beermakers are opening their home slate, while the Redbirds venture out of their own ballpark for the first time in 2022. The first pitch from American Family Field is set for 5:14 p.m. EST.
In ten home tilts against St. Louis a year ago, Milwaukee posted a 3-7 record. The Cardinals won 11 of the teams’ 19 total meetings in 2021.
Most recently, in Wisconsin last September, the Cardinals defeated the Brewers four times in a row. Adam Wainwright (1-0) will toe the slab for the visitors, facing off against Brandon Woodruff (0-1).
Off To A Good Start
Wainwright’s first outing couldn’t have gone much better. Coming off a season in which his ERA was its lowest since 2015, the righty turned in a six-inning effort on Opening Day and kept Pittsburgh from cracking the scoreboard.
Their last time out, the Cardinals clubbed back-to-back long balls in the initial frame. Nolan Arenado got the ball rolling against Kansas City with a two-out blast before prodigal son Albert Pujols sent his 680th career four-bagger over the left field fence. After being set down in each of his first six plate appearances, Pujols recorded three base hits in the 6-5 win.
Arenado sports a .438 batting average and has driven nine runs, the second-most in the NL to this point. Tommy Edman, Paul DeJong, Tyler O’Neill, and Andrew Knizner have all contributed to St. Louis’ NL-leading eight homers.
After playing lackluster squads in the Pirates and Royals, a few matchups with the Brewers should show where St. Louis really stands.
Milwaukee Seeking More Production
Both Rowdy Tellez and Victor Caratini enter with batting averages of .300 or better as the Brew Crew looks to extend their winning streak to three games.
The team was blanked in two of its first four, including a loss to the Cubs in Woodruff’s first start. Chicago hopped on the lefty hurler for seven runs in 3.2 innings. He’d prefer the offense forge out to an early advantage like it had at Baltimore on Tuesday and Wednesday. Woodruff has taken a loss in four of his last five outings.
Milwaukee will also hope that a familiar setting will lead to more scoring. Despite roping an NL-high 13 doubles, it’s averaged three runs per contest thus far.
Cardinals Worth Wager As Slight Underdog
The moneyline favors Milwaukee at -145, as compared to St. Louis’ +125 slate. Despite having a pair of games pushed back because of weather, St. Louis has shown potential to contend for the division.
The showdown figures to remain close, with the odds set at -160 that the guests keep within 1.5 runs. If Wainwright can deal like he did last week, the Cardinals will be in good position to pull this one out or, at the very least, cover the spread.
The total is marked down at eight runs.