By: Austin Moehn (@austin_moehn22)
Milwaukee hits the road as they travel to The Gateway City to start a three game series with the divisional foe St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals are coming off a three game sweep over the Miami Marlins where they were able to shut The Fish down holding them to a combined three runs with a shutout coming yesterday. The Brewers also enter this three game set winning their previous series against the Cubs where they were able to still win two out of three even with limited offense. These two will be battling each other in the standings all season long and both are looking to get ahead early in the season. The pitching matchup will be Adam Wainwright (0-1 20.25 ERA) vs Corbin Burnes (0-1 1.42 ERA).
Moneyline: MIL (-135); STL (+115)
Run Line: MIL -1.5 (+125); STL (-145)
Total: 7.5; O (-120); U (-100)
First Pitch: 3:15pm CST | Busch Stadium| St.Louis, MO
Milwaukee Brewers (3-3)
Being a Brewer fan, this season has been very stressful. The Crew sit at 3-3 and with a series win over the Cubs (which is always satisfying), but they still haven’t put any sort of hitting together. They have relied heavily on the pitching staff and most of the runs have come through clutch hitting by veterans. Currently they are batting .171 with an on base around .240. I’m not even going to mention the lack of putting the ball in play as the Crew have fanned out 60 times already. These are terrible numbers and as the saying goes “it can only go up from here”. The surprising part of this team has been the pitching staff who have done a good job limiting runs and not allowing hitters to make contact as they have 53 K’s which is good for second most in the NL. The bullpen has held it together relatively well and the starters have been exceeding expectations so far. Coming into this game though, it will be unlikely that Milwaukee sends out their top two arms out of the bullpen as Hader and Williams who both threw last night.
Corbin Burnes had about as unlucky of a start as any pitcher could have. He carried a perfect game into the fifth and a no hitter into the seventh against a very solid Minnesota Twins lineup and still got the loss. He didn’t walk a batter and allowed only one hit, that being a homerun to Byron Buxton, in six and a third innings pitched. Throughout his career Burnes has been a strikeout pitcher which he showed in his first start notching 11 K’s. What has made the 26 year old so good last year was ability to keep the ball in the park while also keeping his WHIP low at 1.022. He looks to keep building off the momentum against the big sticks of Goldschmidt and Arenado.
St Louis Cardinals (4-2)
After a disappointing start to the season, the Redbirds were able to bounce back and take care of business against Miami. So far this season the lineup has been pretty hit or miss with the offense either putting up a lot of runs, or failing to put hits together and not creating runs. The addition of Nolan Arenado has been pretty good so far with the former Rockie batting .360 with a homerun. He and veteran catcher Yadier Molina have been the main producers for the Cards to this point. Paul Goldschmidt has gotten off to a decent start with an on base percentage over .350, but he has struckout seven times. In the past Goldschmidt has destroyed Milwaukee’s pitchers and will look to do so again here in 2021. Now looking onto the entire team, they are only batting .200 along with being one of the more strikeout prone teams in the NL with 55 in only six games. It is early in the season and I do expect a bit more of balance out of the lineup, but they have a tough task today facing the righty Burnes.
There is no denying that Adam Wainwright was once one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. That being said, he has seen a drop in success the past few years registering high ERA’s and allowing more walks. The 39 year old was lit up against the Reds in his first start of the season allowing six runs and failing to make it out of the third inning. He is facing off against the struggling Brewers lineup so it will be interesting to see if he can bounce back from his first start.
I’m heading to the props for my best bet for this game and I’m going to take the over 7.5 strikeouts (-122) for Corbin Burnes. The Cardinals lineup does possess a few good bats, but the best guys in the lineup like Arenado, Goldschmidt, and DeJong all have been striking out on average once a game and with how Burnes has been throwing, I expect him to keep doing his thing. The bottom of St. Louis’s order has been struggling to make contact with Tyler O’neil and Dylan Carlson fanning out a combined 19 times. Carlson has three hits so far this season and all have been home runs so when he’s made contact, he’s made the most of it. Burnes typically doesn’t make it into the seventh inning, but I’m not concerned with him seeing a lack of batters and I expect him to make the most of the time he has on the mound. This game could go either way and I don’t see a clear team to win. A factor that could play is that the Brewers top bullpen arms threw last night and the Cardinals have heavily relied on their bullpen in all their games this season. We could see some late runs here which is another reason I’m just going to go with a strikeout pitcher doing his thing against a team that has been fanning out quite a lot to start the season.