After a rainy and cold series the the Chicago Cubs, the Milwaukee Brewers (2-6) will head south to Missouri to take on the St. Louis Cardinals (5-4). The Brewers are coming off of a split series with the Cubs as the third game was postponed. For the Cardinals, they’re coming off of a series win against the Cincinnati Reds.
Let’s get into it.
St. Louis Cardinals
When the Cardinals got into the NLCS last season, they were one step away from defending their 2011 World Series title. However for the Cardinals, things didn’t go as planned as they lost to the San Francisco Giants in the seventh game. Heading into 2013, the Cardinals are now without Chris Carpenter and Kyle Lohse, both of whom were incredibly efficient for them last season. Closer Jason Motte joined Carpenter on the disabled list, giving reliever Mitchell Boggs the job. Still, the Cardinals rotation is strong thanks to Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia and Shelby Miller. In the bullpen, Randy Choate, Trevor Rosenthal, Joe Kelly and others will look to hold down the opposition.
Offensively for the Cards, Allen Craig and David Freese have become a dangerous part of the line-up and will not be easy to pitch to alongside the catcher Yadier Molina. In the outfield, Jon Jay, Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran also help pack the punch that makes the Cardinals a very dangerous offensive team. At shortstop, Pete Kozma will see some action as Rafael Furcal is currently on the 15-day disabled list, but soon to be 60-day as he had Tommy John surgery back in March.
As the Brewers saw in the previous series against the Cubs, many fans are starting to doubt the newly crafted bullpen. John Axford has been very ineffective to say the least, but some time off may help him rebound. In Axford’s place sits Jim Henderson who made his major league debut last season. Tom Gorzelanny and Alfredo Figaro have had the most success in the pen. Starting rotation wise, the team will plan to go with four starters as Mike Fiers will pitch out of the bullpen for now.
On the opposite side of the ball, the Brewers have seen quite the explosion from Jean Segura and Norichika Aoki. Segura currently leads the team in batting average (.458) and on-base percentage (.500) whereas Aoki leads in hits (14). Ryan Braun is doing well as he’s batting .500 (six less plate appearances than Segura) and leads the team in RBIs with six. Aramis Ramirez is currently on the 15-day disabled list, but will look to come back soon. Unfortunately for Corey Hart, he’s been moved to the 60-day disabled list with Blake Lalli being put on the 40-man roster. Hart will look to return at the end of May.
Milwaukee’s pitchers will be listed first followed by St. Louis':
Tonight: Kyle Lohse (0-0, 1.50 ERA) vs Shelby Miller (1-0, 3.38 ERA) at 8:15 p.m. ET / 7:15 p.m. CT
Saturday: Yovani Gallardo (0-0, 5.73 ERA) vs Adam Wainwright (1-1, 3.46 ERA) at 4:15 p.m. ET / 3:15 p.m. CT
Sunday: Marco Estrada (1-0, 4.50 ERA) vs Jaime Garcia (1-0, 2.92 ERA) at 2:15 p.m. ET / 1:15 p.m. CT