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Cardinals should destroy the Brewers

A series preview

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals could use another one of those eight-game winning streaks to put them back in the playoff picture. As it stands, the Cardinals are behind the Cubs, Diamondbacks, and Rockies in terms of playoff odds, as they have been for some time. They have now dipped below the surging Giancarlo Stanton-led Marlins and the team they now face for the next two games in Milwaukee. The Cardinals should destroy the Brewers.*

*With title, .542 W%. Without title, .448 W%. Can’t argue with science.

The Brewers look now a lot like they were expected to at the beginning of the season. Ryan Braun is back from injury. Keon Broxton is back from the minors, and is in the middle of a decent stretch despite striking out in more than one-third of his plate appearances over the last month. Domingo Santana has been trucking along all season though below-average over the last month.

Travis Shaw, arguably the team’s best hitter this season hasn’t been quite as good over the last month, but that has only brought his wRC+ on the season down to 127. Orlando Arcia has struggled some this season, but he’s basically been an average hitter for the last three months, which is pretty good for a shortstop. Meanwhile Eric Thames has been below average as a hitter over the last three months, which isn’t good for a first baseman.

After watching Jonathan Villar struggle mightily, the Brewers traded for Neil Walker. The former Pirates and Mets second baseman has hit very well so far for Milwaukee with almost twice as many walks as strikeouts in a dozen games. At catcher, Manny Pina is the starter, but Stephen Vogt, obtained from Oakland also gets some starts.

In the bullpen, Corey Knebel has done very well with the ninth inning. New acquisition Anthony Swarzak, obtained in a trade from the White Sox, has also pitched well. Josh Hader has pitched well since being called up from the minors, though middle-relief might still be an issue.

In tonight’s game, Matt Garza pitches for Milwaukee. Garza has been bad this season, particularly of late. He pitched well against St. Louis at the beginning of the month, but has given up 19 runs over his last four starts. In his last start, he struck out six, walking two, and giving up just one run in five innings. Garza has given up a lot of homers this year. Luke Weaver gets the start in Milwaukee.

On Wednesday, Chase Anderson will go for the Brewers. Anderson was having a fine season until going on the disabled list with an oblique injury. In the two starts since coming off the DL, Anderson has gone just five innings both times out, but has only given up three runs, striking out 10 and walking five on the road against the Rockies and Dodgers. Carlos Martinez will take the mound for the Cardinals.

Tonight, August 29, 6:40 pm CT, Fox Sports Midwest

Wednesday, August 30, 1:10 pm CT, Fox Sports Midwest