Cardinals vs. Brewers, 7:40 ET
The Cardinals magic number to clinch the division sits at three. While I think this is a virtual local that it happens, it definitely won’t happen today, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t even get reduced today. They take on the team in second place, the Brewers. The Brewers do still have a shot to make the playoffs, but they are on the outside looking in as of now.
Miles Mikolas is pitching for the Cardinals. One spot that he has really struggled with this season is road starts. Of course, they haven’t been all bad, but he has a 4.29 ERA on the road compared to a 2.38 ERA at home. In the playoffs, they really might want to consider having him only start home games. His most recent road start was great though. He allowed just three hits in six innings and one unearned run against the Padres. Before that? He had three consecutive starts against the Cubs, Reds, and Pirates on the road where he allowed at least four runs in the game. Against Milwaukee, he’s been good on the road. In two road starts, he has covered 13 innings and has allowed just three earned runs. His only bad start against them (he’s had four) came in late May when he allowed six earned runs over 5.2 innings.
There are many unknown, or at least not casual fan-recognized, names in the Brewers rotation that are very good. Adrian Houser isn’t really a bad one, but he isn’t one of the better pitchers that the Brewers have. On the season he carries a 4.62 ERA and has a record of just 6-9. We’ve talked about how the record doesn’t matter much. Much like Mikolas, Houser does pitch better at home. AT home, he has a solid 3.42 ERA and the batting average against him is almost 50 points lower. He has faced the Cardinals twice on the season and split his performances. In the first one, at home, he allowed one run over 5.2 innings. In the second one, he allowed five earned runs over four innings – that one came as a road start. In three of his four September starts he has been very good. The Brewers have won all four of the games, even after he pitched poorly against the Yankees.
I have to fade Mikolas on the road. As much as I like him as a pitcher and think that he has a lot of potential any time he takes the ball, I just can’t back him here. The Cardinals aren’t exactly fading, but they are just 5-5 over their last ten games. I’ll take the Brew Crew here at -105.
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