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The Cardinals will play the Brewers four times in games that mostly don’t matter to either

Brewers are simultaneously very ahead of the Cubs and very behind the other division leading teams, so they’re pretty locked into their playoff spot.

Washington Nationals v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Kayla Wolf/Getty Images

For a couple weeks now, I’ve been worried about the Cardinals’ upcoming series against the Brewers. I’ve been worried we’d beat them too much. What an absurd thing to worry about considering the Cardinals have not had that problem this year. Not one time. But you see, the Cubs were hot on the Brewers’ time and if ever the 2023 season was going to continue being 2023, it’d be that they would go on a run at the perfect time to allow the Cubs to waltz to first place.

Well, that worry is no longer. The Cubs decided to make it easy. Much as I like the idea of singlehandedly spoiling the fun of the Milwaukee Brewers, they’ve separated themselves quite a bit from the NL Central, mostly thanks to the Cubs being utterly unable to beat the Diamondbacks (1-6 this year). The Cardinals can defeat the Brewers all they want. (And yes, I understand this premise requires you to hate the Cubs more than the Brewers or Reds.

There’s not much to say about the Brewers that you probably don’t already know. But a few things have changed since the last time the Cardinals faced them. A surprising amount actually.

Top 100 prospect Sal Frelick debuted in late July. He has a been a huge boost to the Brewers, with a 109 wRC+ and good defense. The Brewers signed Josh Donaldson to finish out the season with them. He has a 154 wRC+ so far as a Brewer. The Brewers traded for Mark Canha, who has a 140 wRC+ with them (and recently hit a game-winning grand slam). Somebody named Andruw Monasterio plays either 2B or 3B for them. The Brewers traded for Carlos Santana at the deadline. Also they promoted a guy named Abner Uribe who looks like their next elite reliever.

The rest, you’ll remember. Corbin Burnes, Freddy Peralta, and Brandon Woodruff are all healthy. Devin Williams is still closing games. They still have a bunch of random relievers who all seem to be outpitching their peripherals. Except Andrew Chafin. They traded for him and... he is just getting destroyed. He has pitched in 13 games and thrown 11 innings. He’s allowed 11 runs.

Monday - 6:45 PM

Freddy Peralta (3.79 ERA/3.76/3.49 xFIP) vs. Adam Wainwright (still not showing his stats)

Well, it’s a good thing Wainwright got Win #199 in the books, because I don’t like his chances here. I will say the Cardinals in the past have hit Peralta, and hit him in such a way where most pitchers could pick a win. Like his last outing. He allowed 6 earned runs in 5.1 IP the last time he faced the Cardinals. He allowed 6 in 3 innings last year. Seriously, he’s either hit or miss against the Cardinals.

Wainwright, well I hope Wainwright can improbably finish with a win streak. Which can continue tonight as he gets win #200.

Tuesday - 6:45

Adrian Houser (4.53 ERA/4.09 FIP/4.30 xFIP) vs. Drew Rom (5.96 ERA/5.69 FIP/5.66 xFIP)

On the flip side if we want to talk specific matchups, Houser just always seem to find himself with more than 5 innings pitched and very few runs allowed against the Cards. Or maybe I’m just burned from his his 9 inning shutout against the Cards in 2021.

Let’s also hope Rom can build off his great game against his former team, the Orioles. Though I kind of suspect we’ll see Liberatore Part II.

Wednesday - 6:45 PM

Wade Miley (3.38 ERA/4.92 FIP/4.97 xFIP) vs. Zack Thompson (4.34 ERA/3.69 FIP/3.69 xFIP)

Whoa, haven’t seen a pitcher with the exact same FIP and xFIP in a while. Thompson has faced some tougher opponents lately and has been struggling against them. Well here’s another shot.

Does anything make more sense than Wade Miley outpitching his FIP by over a run and a half? Wade Miley wildly outplays his peripherals for the Brewers is the most Brewers thing ever.

Thursday - 12:15 PM

Corbin Burnes (3.56 ERA/3.90 FIP/3.80 xFIP) vs. Miles Mikolas (4.84 ERA/4.33 FIP/4.82 xFIP)

Miles, buddy, I’m gonna need a good start from you. Some players on the Cardinals just need the season to end and Miles is one of them (Arenado is another).

Burnes has pitched noticeably worse than the standard he’s set the past couple seasons. His K% is down, and his BB% is up, and he’s getting less grounders. He’s the most hittable he’s been since 2019.

There you have it. The Cardinals actually miss Woodruff which is amazing because they rarely miss one of their big three guys in a three-game series against the Brewers, much less a 4-game one.