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Series Preview 6/21-24: Cardinals at Brewers

The Birds and Brewers are meeting for four games in the final regular-season series between the teams at Miller Park this year

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Philadelphia Phillies Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

After losing a series in Philadelphia, the Cardinals are wrapping up their two-city roadtrip in Milwaukee for a four-game series with the Brewers.

The Cardinals enter the series with a 38-34 record, trailing the 43-30 Brewers by 4 12 games for first place in the National League Central. The Cubs, at 42-29, are tied with the Brewers for the division crown. This is the Cardinals’ final regular-season series in Milwaukee and last with the Brewers until mid-August. The two teams will meet one more time after that August series during the final week of the season in late September.

In Thursday’s series opener, Brent Suter and Carlos Martinez will take the mound with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 PM Central time. Suter has appeared in 15 games (13 starts) for the Brewers this season and maintained a 3.98 xFIP in 81 23 innings. The 28-year-old lefty is coming off his best start of the season, a seven-inning outing with one run allowed against the Phillies. St. Louis backstop Yadier Molina has two home runs in 10 at-bats facing Suter.

Martinez will make his fourth start since returning from a lat injury and strive to overcome the command issues that have haunted his first three outings off the disabled list. Between the three starts, Martinez logged 12 23 innings, surrendered 10 earned runs, and walked 18 batters. Perhaps facing tonight’s opponent in particular will benefit Martinez, who has a 1.95 ERA in 25 games (14 starts) in his career against the Brewers.

Junior Guerra and Jack Flaherty will toe the rubber in Friday’s ballgame, a 7:10 PM start. Guerra has a 2.89 ERA in 13 starts for the Brewers this season after starting the year in Triple-A. Across 71 23 innings, Guerra has a .220 BAA with an 82.9 left on-base percentage. His HR/9 rate is an even 1.00, and that low number is especially true against St. Louis. In 70 at-bats against Guerra, the Cardinals have just three long balls - hit by Dexter Fowler, Marcell Ozuna, and Kolten Wong.

Flaherty has started nine big-league games this year and has a 2.76 ERA with 19 punchouts in three June outings. The 22-year-old has a 1.09 WHIP with a 26.7 strikeout percentage. The current Brewers are just 8-for-31 with one extra-base hit facing Flaherty, who has two starts in his young career against Milwaukee.

Saturday’s matchup will feature Milwaukee’s Chase Anderson and St. Louis’s Miles Mikolas around 3:10 PM. Anderson has struggled this season, with a 4.54 ERA in 14 starts. Batters have 15 home runs and 30 walks in 77 13 innings, during which Anderson has a career-low 35.3 groundball percentage and career-high 43.6 flyball percentage. The Cardinals have a .291 batting mark facing Anderson with five home runs and 15 walks, including two Tommy Pham long balls and seven Matt Carpenter walks.

Mikolas will be making his third start against the Brewers this season. For the year on the whole, Mikolas has a team-best 2.69 ERA, the sixth-lowest in the National League. In 90 13 frames, Mikolas has allowed eight home runs and 10 walks; three of the long balls were hit in Milwaukee in his first start as a Cardinal. Eric Thames, Manny Pina, and Lorenzo Cain took Mikolas deep in a game where Mikolas himself went yard.

The fourth and final game of the series on Sunday will start at 1:10 PM and feature a starting matchup of Jhoulys Chacin and Luke Weaver. Over his last seven starts, Chacin has 37 strikeouts and a 1.03 WHIP over his last seven starts. In 2018, opponents are batting .231 against Chacin with 0.62 HR/9. Across 41 13 innings in eight games (seven starts) facing St. Louis, Chacin has a 5.88 ERA.

Weaver has allowed four earned runs in each of his last three starts, equating to a 7.04 ERA over his previous 15 13 innings of work. In limited time facing Milwaukee, Weaver’s opponent’s batting average facing the Brewers is .277. Ryan Braun is 7-for-17 with three doubles, and Thames has smacked two home runs.

The video is credited to the official Major League Baseball YouTube channel.