MLB Pick: St. Louis Cardinals vs Milwaukee Brewers
The Milwaukee Brewers grabbed Game 1 of their season-opening series with rival St. Louis Cardinals Thursday at Miller Park, and aim to take Game 2 Friday (8:10 pm ET, FS Midwest, FS Wisconsin). Milwaukee is again listed as a short home favorite by MLB betting sites, but the Cardinals are live dogs here.
Most bookmakers opened Milwaukee and Freddy Peralta at around -120 over St. Louis and Jack Flaherty, with an over/under of 8.5 runs. The Brewers could also be found getting upwards of +180 giving +1.5 on the run line.
Cardinals-Brewers Betting Preview
Milwaukee grabbed the opener of this series Thursday afternoon 5-4, cashing in as a -115 favorite. The Brewers spotted St. Louis an early 3-0 lead, then scored the game’s next five runs, three on a homer by reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich. In the end Milwaukee got a six-out save from Josh Hader, capped off by a home run-saving catch by CF Lorenzo Cain to preserve the victory.
Also, Thursday’s game sneaked over its total of 8.5 runs.
Last year the Brewers took the season series from the Cardinals 11 games to eight.
Friday’s Pitching Match-Up
This pitching match-up is a re-match of a game played last August in St. Louis, a 5-2 Cardinals victory.
Peralta (6-4, 4.25 last year), by our strict standards, went five-for-14 on quality starts last season. Milwaukee went 9-5 with Peralta last year, with the overs going 8-7.
In two appearances last season against St. Louis Peralta allowed four runs and six hits through 9 2/3 innings of work. Milwaukee lost Peralta’s only start last year vs. St. Louis, that 5-2 decision at Busch Stadium in August.
Fellow righty Flaherty (8-9, 3.34 last year) only went 10-for-28 on quality starts last year, but a short leash played a part in that. The Cardinals only went 11-17 with Flaherty last year, but again, that wasn’t all his fault. Also, Flaherty unders went 16-11-1.
In four starts last year against Milwaukee Flaherty was tough, allowing just five runs and 14 hits through 23 1/3 innings, with 34 strikeouts. Somehow St. Louis only managed to win one of those four games.
We’re giving the Cardinals and Flaherty the handicapping edge in this pitching match-up.
St. Louis batted .249/.318/.404 against right-handed pitching last season. The Cardinals also added a big stick over the off-season in Paul Goldschmidt.
Milwaukee battled .252/.323/.426 against RHP last season.
We’re calling the splits with the sticks a push for Friday.
The St. Louis bullpen posted an uncharacteristically high 4.38 ERA last year, to go along with a 1.47 WHIP.
The Brewers bullpen posted a 3.47 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP last year. However, Hader pitched two innings Thursday, so his availability may be limited Friday. And two other regular relievers are out with injuries.
We’ll give Milwaukee a short edge here in the bullpen comparison, but somewhat reluctantly. Tell us if you disagree.
The unders went 78-77-7 in Cardinals games last season.
The unders went 81-79-3 in Brewers games last season.
The unders went 40-39-2 in games played at Miller Park last season.
The unders went 10-9 in Cardinals-Brewers games last year.
Free MLB Pick
Flaherty gets our check-mark in the pitching match-up. Also, while the top five hitters in the Cardinals lineup went one-for-19 Thursday, we expect a better performance Friday. And finally, Milwaukee might be a bit shorthanded in the bullpen. We’re taking St. Louis and the underdog price for our free MLB pick here.