The St. Louis Cardinals head into a road match-up against the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night, to open an exciting and pivotal 3-game series with both teams fully entrenched in the battle for 1st place in NL Central division. Milwaukee holds the best record in baseball within the confines of their home field at Miller Park (39-14), but with only 6.5 games separating the 1st place Brewers from the 4th place Cincinnati Reds in the NL Central, the pressure is certainly on the Brewers tonight to pick up wins at home against the mighty bats of the St. Louis Cardinals, keeping both their current six-game winning streak alive, as well as increasing their vulnerable 2.5 game buffer on the 2nd place Cards.
Starting pitching for tonight’s match-up features a pair of former Cy Young Award winners as Zach Greinke gets the call for Milwaukee (8-4, 4.50 ERA) against Chris Carpenter for the Cardinals (6-7, 3.68 ERA). Greinke will be seeking to win consecutive starts for the first time since June 11th, building on 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball in a 2-0 win over the Chicago Cubs on July 27th. Carpenter has also been throwing well, going 2-1 in his last three outings while giving up only 7 earned runs in 23 innings of work. Interestingly enough, the last time Zach Greinke posted consecutive wins, it was against Chris Carpenter and the St. Louis Cardinals on June 11th, in a 5-3 win at home in Milwaukee.
Betting lines at Bodog Sportsbook for tonight’s match-up find Milwaukee as a -127 favorite on the moneyline, with an over/under run total for the game coming at 7 1/2 runs.
Milwaukee owns the season series to-date, going 4-2 against the St. Louis Cardinals this year, including a series sweep at home from June 10-12.
Players to watch – Milwaukee:
Ryan Braun, LF – hitting .328 with 5 home runs, 10 RBIs during July, though is only 4 for 23 with 6 strikeouts against Carpenter lifetime.
Prince Fielder, 1B – hitting .289 with 3 home runs, 13 RBIs in the last month, is 4 for 16 with 2 home runs against Carpenter.
Players to watch – St. Louis:
Albert Pujols, 1B – since July 1st, Pujols is hitting .295 with 7 home runs and 20 RBIs. Will need to increase his impact against Greinke tonight (4-20 lifetime).
Yadier Molina, C – hit .314 with 4 home runs and 10 RBI in July. Batting a red-hot .391 over the past week.