Milwaukee Brewers vs. St. Louis Cardinals Preview and Pick – Carlos Villanueva vs. Adam Wainwright

Milwaukee Brewers (8-5) Carlos Villanueva +110, 9 O/U at St.
Louis Cardinals (10-4) Adam Wainwright -130, 9 O/U, Busch Stadium,
8:15 PM EST, Wednesday

by Badger of

The National League Central Division leading St. Louis Cardinals hope
to continue their hot streak when they host the second-place
Milwaukee Brewers in game two of a crucial early season three-game
series at Busch Stadium Wednesday.

The Cardinals broke open a tight 1-1 game with two runs in the fifth
inning and went on to an easy 6-1 victory Tuesday. The Brewers
continued to struggle on offense, managing just three hits in the
game, while the Cards rapped out 12 hits to give starter Braden
Looper his third win of the season.

Tonights matchup features two young right-handers, as Milwaukee
sends Carlos Villanueva to the hill against the Cards Adam Wainwright.

Most offshore sportsbooks opened the game with St. Louis as a -130
favorite on the moneyline, with Milwaukee listed as a +110 underdog.
The over/under total is listed at 9.

With last nights victory the Cardinals have now won six straight
games at the new Busch Stadium after losing the home opener. The
Cards are riding the NLs second best batting average (.273) right
now, after riding their strong starting pitching the first week of
the season.

How good is it going for the Cards right now? Light-hitting
outfielder Skip Schumaker went 2-for-4 with two RBIs yesterday, while
Adam Kennedy added three hits and a RBI at the bottom of the
Cardinals lineup.

The opposite could be said for the Brewers, as they are looking for a
spark on offense right now.

Prince Fielder has yet to hit a homerun this season, and Ryan Braun
was held out of the lineup last night to clear his head after a 2-
for-25 slump. The Brewers best offensive player so far, once-retired
outfielder Gabe Kapler (.423, 4 HR, 11 RBI) also sat out of the game
last night after hurting his shoulder crashing into the outfield wall
during batting practice.

Wainwright (1-1, 3.60) will be looking to rebound after struggling a
little last time out (8 hits, 4 runs) in a 5-1 loss at San Francisco.
Wainwright has faced the Brewers nine times in his career, two
starts, and sports a 1-1 record with a 2.14 ERA.

Villanueva will also be looking to rebound from a disappointing last start. Villanueva was cruising until he gave up five straight hits
(including a two-run homer) versus Cincinnati, dropping a 4-1
decision to the Reds last Thursday. Villanueva has had some success
versus the Cardinals in the past, with a 2-1 record and 2.70 ERA in
eight career appearances (three starts) against them, including a
1-0, 4.22 mark in his lone start at Busch Stadium.
Villanueva has had his troubles with Albert Pujols in the past, but
who hasnt? Pujols is 6-for-15 with 2 HRs and 5 RBI versus
Villanueva, and as a whole Pujols really enjoys playing against the
Brewers (.351, 25 HR, 92 RBI in 404 career at-bats).

Milwaukee seems to always struggle versus the NL Central rival Cards, going just 2-8 in the last 10 head-to-head matchups. The Brewers also
offer a conflicting set of betting trends in tonights game, as the
over is 6-2 in the last eight head-to-head game with the Cards, but
the under is 7-2 in Villanuevas last nine starts on the hill.

St. Louis, at 10-4 so far, is the second best money team in all of MLB with a +546 take, including a +479 mark at home in Busch. If
Wainwright can get the game into the bullpens hands the Cards have a
great chance, as they currently sport MLBs second best bullpen ERA
at 2.74.

Badgers Pick: Both pitchers lost last time out, yet neither one of
them really pitched all that bad. It seems to be a matter of run
support for both of them, which leads me to believe the hot-hitting
Cardinals will offer up better support tonight. Take Wainwright and
St. Louis despite the borderline high -130 price.