St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers
|Date & Time||Thursday March 28, 2019, 2:10 PM (EDT)|
Milwaukee Brewers -107 / St. Louis Cardinals -101 -- O/U: 8.5
The St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers meet in MLB opening day action from Miller Park on Thursday.
The St. Louis Cardinals come into the 2019 season looking to build on a reasonably successful 2018 campaign that saw the Cards finish the regular season with a record of 88-74, good for 3rd in the NL Central but missing out on the wild card by 2 games. The Cardinals made a big splash in the offseason, trading for former Diamondbacks slugger Paul Goldschmidt, who his .290 with 33 homers and 83 RBIs last season. Andrew Miller comes over to the Cardinals to further bolster St. Louis’ bullpen while the usual suspects return for St. Louis with the likes of Marcell Ozuna, Yadier Molina and Matt Carpenter with guys like Dexter Fowler and Michael Wacha hoping to shake off injury-plagued seasons from last year. Miles Mikolas is back as well to lead the Cards’ rotation as well as Jack Flaherty while the Cardinals hope that Carlos Martinez can revert back to his ace-type stuff. Only time will tell if the Cardinals can make another splash in the NL Central this season. Miles Mikolas will start opening day and was 18-4 with a 2.83 ERA and 146 strikeouts last season. In his career, Mikolas is 3-0 with a 3.71 ERA and 23 strikeouts against Milwaukee.
The Milwaukee Brewers come into the 2019 regular season looking to build on an impressive 2018 campaign that saw the Brew Crew get back to the postseason, finishing the year with an overall record of 95-67, winning out in a game 163 for the division crown over the Chicago Cubs and pushing the Dodgers to the brink, going to game 7 in the NLCS. Christian Yelich returns for the Brewers as the reigning NL MVP, finishing 2018 with a .326 batting average along with 36 home runs and 110 RBIs. The Brewers made a change behind the plate, bringing in Yasmani Grandal from the Dodgers on a 1-year deal worth $18.25 million. The big question mark for me this season is if the Brewers rotation can keep it going. Jhoulys Chacin was an under the radar staff ace last season, going 15-8 with a 3.50 ERA and 156 strikeouts. With the likes of Chase Anderson, Jimmy Nelson, Zach Davies and Brandon Woodruff in the fold as well, it remains to be seen what kind of identity the Brewers will have on the mound this season. Jhoulys Chacin will start game one and was 15-8 with a 3.50 ERA and 156 strikeouts last season. In his career, Chacin is 2-7 with a 5.72 ERA and 44 strikeouts against St. Louis.
St. Louis is 13-3 in Mikolas’ last 16 road starts and 1-5 in their last 6 games overall while the over is 5-1 in their last 6 road games. Milwaukee is 5-1 in Chacin’s last 6 starts and 35-17 in their last 52 games overall while the under is 11-5 in their last 16 division games. St. Louis is 0-4 in the last 4 meetings between these two teams.
I’m tempted to give Milwaukee the nod at home after a solid 2018 campaign where the Brew Crew got back to the playoffs, and Milwaukee has one of the more underrated fan bases in all of MLB. However, while St. Louis has struggled in recent meetings, I simply like the pitching matchup for St. Louis, as Mikolas’ stuff was pretty electric last season, going 3-0 against the Brewers and 10-0 with a 3.53 ERA on the road, in addition to an 8-1 record down the stretch. I like Chacin, but St. Louis has been a thorn in his side in his career and I just think the Cardinals are the play on opening day at near even money.