Milwaukee Brewers vs. St. Louis Cardinals
The top two teams in the National League Central from last season face off on Friday as the Milwaukee Brewers host the St. Louis Cardinals. The Brewers are -135 favorites over the Cardinals with an over/under run total set at 8.
The Milwaukee Brewers got a taste of the post season last year and while they may have lost one of their big guns this team is taking dead aim on getting back again this year. While Price Fielder left in free agency the Brewers still have plenty of talent to compete both up and down the batting order and on the mound. Ryan Braun is the face and the future of the organizations w=and while he won his appeal of a huge suspension he will be under the microscope this year. Rickie Weeks missed much of last year with an injury and was never the same once he came back and Mat Gamel will be playing in Fielder’s spot though he won’t be expected to put up his numbers. Nyjer Morgan is the table setter and the havoc he causes on the bases disrupts opposing pitchers and Aramis Ramirez was picked up to play third in hopes he is a piece of what makes up for losing Fielder’s numbers. For game one against the Cards Yovani Gallardo gets the ball and he is coming off a 17 win year which he had another 200+ strikeouts, what has become a regular occurrence for him. Milwaukee has arguably the best 1-2 punch in the bullpen with Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford so if the workhorse starters can get them there they will be in good shape.
The St. Louis Cardinals got their season started with a win as they went into Miami and beat the Marlins as they opened their new stadium with a one game series. The Cardinals batting order showed no signs of losing their confidence they ended last season ith as they banged out 13 hits and scored four runs. Rafael Furcal and David Freese had three hits each while Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina added two hits in the win. Starter Kyle Lohse carried a no hitter into the seventh inning shutting down the Marlins’ lineup giving up just two hits and a run while striking out three on the night to get the win. Jason Motte struck out two in earning his first save by pitching the ninth inning. For Friday’s game St. Louis sends Jaime Garcia gets the nod in this one and while he was streaky a year ago it seemed like the streaks he pitched well for outnumbered the stretches where he didn’t pitch as well and of course he got it done in the post season but he has a habit of letting one bad inning being his undoing.
Milwaukee is 19-7 in their last 26 game one of a series, 51-20 in their last 71 home games, and 5-1 in Gallardo’s last six starts. St. Louis is 17-7 in their last 24 road games, 4-1 in their last five road games against a right handed starter, and 1-4 in Garcia’s last five starts in game one of a series. St. Louis has won five of their last six games in Milwaukee.
I don’t expect many runs in this game. I am leaning towards take the Under 8 here.