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Series Preview 5/28-30: Cardinals at Brewers

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

After winning the series in Pittsburgh over the weekend against the Pirates, the 28-22 Cardinals are in Milwaukee for a three-game set with the 34-20 Brewers. Entering play Monday, the Brewers lead the National League Central by four games over these Cardinals.

On Monday, Memorial Day, Brent Suter and Luke Weaver will toe the rubber in the 1:10 PM Central time start. Suter has logged 53 13 innings for the Brewers this season across 11 games, nine of them starts. Opponents are batting .272 facing Suter with nine home runs. In his career facing the Cardinals, Suter has had success for the most part. Dexter Fowler is 2-for-6, Jedd Gyorko is 2-for-7, and Matt Carpenter is 2-for-8. Then, there is Jose Martinez, who took Suter deep once in a handful of at-bats facing the 28-year-old lefty.

Weaver has taken tough losses in his last two starts, both of them seven-inning outings against the Phillies and Royals, respectively. Between the starts, Weaver allowed four earned runs and fanned 14 batters. Overall, Weaver has a 3.51 FIP in 54 13 frames over 10 starts. In his career facing Weaver, Ryan Braun has five hits in 15 at-bats, including a pair of doubles.

In Tuesday’s 6:40 PM start, Zach Davies will go up against Michael Wacha. Davies has worked to a 4.74 ERA in seven starts with five home runs and 14 walks in 38 innings for Milwaukee. The Cardinals have had quite a bit of success facing Davies in the past; Marcell Ozuna is 6-for-14 with three RBIs, Gyorko is 11-for-17 with four doubles, and Carpenter is 9-for-21 with four two-baggers as well.

Across 10 starts for St. Louis in 2018, Wacha has a 2.88 ERA with 50 punchouts and a 0.64 HR/9 rate. Behind Miles Mikolas, Wacha has been the Cardinals’ most reliable starting pitcher this season, trailing Mikolas in wins (Wacha has five, Mikolas six), strikeouts (50 to 51), and the 56 13 frames for Wacha are second to Mikolas’ 66 1/3 innings. Lorenzo Cain and Braun each have four hits off Wacha in the past, while Jonathan Villar has six strikeouts in 12 plate appearances.

The series finale on Wednesday is a 12:10 PM start and set to feature Junior Guerra and Alex Reyes, who is making his return to the Majors after recovering from Tommy John surgery. Guerra has a 1.18 WHIP and 81.1 left on-base percentage in nine starts for Milwaukee this season. Three of Guerra’s starts have been quality, including his last outing - a six-inning performance against the Mets. Carpenter has seen Guerra well in the past, with four hits in eight at-bats. Ozuna, Fowler, and Kolten Wong have each homered off the 33-year-old.

Reyes made four rehab starts across the farm system, totaling 23 innings. In those starts, Reyes did not allow a run, fanned 44 batters, walked only seven, and allowed a mere seven hits, holding batter to an .096 batting average. To activate Reyes, the Cardinals will need to make a cut from the 40-man roster, as well as the 25-man. Steven Baron would seem like the candidate to be removed from the 40-man, while John Gant or Mike Mayers might be optioned to Triple-A to accommodate Reyes’ return to the active roster. In his brief, big-league career of 46 innings, Reyes has not faced the Brewers.