After what happened Friday night, I surely thought something else, on a much smaller level of course, was going to happen last night. It nearly did, as the Cardinals were up 5-0 and coasting, the game then got interesting after the Brewers added 3 runs in the bottom of the 8th. On my mind was of course a solo jack by the Brewers which would have ruined that bet. Luckily we were on the right side of that bet, and were able to cash the Cards at a pretty good price. Didn’t think we were going to need to sweat it out though, but its all money in the end. We really didn’t need another bad beat right about now. Moving forward today we are actually looking at the same series between the Cardinals and Brewers. If I like a certain matchup I am going to go right back to it, and that is what we’re going to do today.
The Cardinals and Brewers conclude their series Sunday afternoon, where the Cards look for the sweep. The Cardinals have been rolling and by far one of the most impressive teams to start the season. They have started off 12-4 and got support from an unlikely spot last night. Adam Wainwright left earlier than planned, which opened the door for Navy vet Mitch Harris, who was the first member of the US Naval Academy to play in a major league game since 1921. Harris didn’t just go in, but he played well enough to pitch 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Wainwright had to be helped off the field, so that could be a major blow to the Cardinals. I said last night how nice it is the Cardinals have a 1-2 punch that includes Wainwright and Michael Wacha. It may have to be just the punch of Wacha as the season progresses. Such a blow to a team that was playing so well. But there is another horse in the rotation that can serve as relief, and that is Lance Lynn, who has been one of the more underrated pieces of the Cardinals’ rotation.
St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers
Lance Lynn (1-1, 1.56 ERA) vs. Mike Fiers (0-3, 6.75 ERA)
The Brewers fell to 3-15 on the season yesterday, which makes them the worst team in the league at the moment. That may not change anytime soon given how many holes there are, from the pitching to the offense, the Brewers are going to be in tough this season. With the likes of Wily Peralta and Mike Fiers in the rotation, it is easy to see why they are projected to finish last. If you could get any worse than Peralta, that person would be Mike Fiers, this season at least thus far. Fiers actually had a pretty solid year for the Brewers last season, posting an ERA of 2.13, but note that was only in 10 starts, so we need a bigger sample size to come to any credible conclusion. Further, he got rocked in the previous season for a 7.24 ERA. So the jury is still out on him, and he hasn’t gotten off to a good start yet to justify us believing in him. Fiers has produced a 6.75 ERA thus far, and even more dissatisfying is his WHIP, which falls at 1.70 with a .377 OBP. In both of his starts at home he got rocked for an ERA of 9.00 and 1.89 WHIP.
Even if he turns it around today, he may have to do tenfold how he has played up to this point because Lance Lynn has been on point. He comes in with a 1.56 ERA over three starts and has given up just 1 run in each start. Lynn has also allowed only 13 hits in total. The Cardinals third option in the rotation is coming off a season in which he pitched for a 2.74 ERA, the best of his career. He will certainly regress off of his 1.56 ERA, but I still think he’ll have another great campaign, and I don’t think much of that regression will come against the Brewers. The Brewers offense has been awful, and have been averaging less than 3 runs a game. I don’t like picking the same team back-to-back in series, but I couldn’t resist here.
PICK: CARDINALS -1.5 (+112)