MLB Picks Today: Cardinals vs. Brewers Betting Preview (Wednesday, September 28)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images. Pictured: Rowdy Tellez
- The Cardinals clinched last night and are thus underdogs for tonight's game in Milwaukee against the Brewers.
- St. Louis will send Jose Quintana to the mound while the Brewers, who still have postseason aspirations, will turn to Brandon Woodruff.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
Cardinals vs. Brewers Odds
|Over/Under||7 (-120 / +105)|
|Time||7:40 p.m. ET|
|Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The hard work for one of these two teams is over, but it's only just begun for the other.
The St. Louis Cardinals wrapped up the NL Central on Tuesday night, and shouldn't be too bothered to win on Wednesday, while the Milwaukee Brewers have everything to play for at just 1.5 games out of the final NL wild-card spot.
Will motivation be enough on Wednesday for Milwaukee? Let's take a look at this one.
Will Cardinals Be Motivated Behind Quintana?
The Cardinals are throwing Jose Quintana here, which would seem to behoove them. Despite some pretty middling numbers, The Cardinals are now 9-1 when the lefty pitches, winning their last five in a row.
If there's one qualifier here that's important, it's the fact that the Cardinals have only been underdogs twice with Quintana on the bump, winning just one of two.
The lefty enters Monday with a shiny 3.02 ERA, but a 3.82 xERA thanks to a low 20.2% strikeout rate and a .257 xBA. It's not as if Quintana is yielding an inordinate amount of hard-hit balls or allowing oodles of home runs, he's just been done in by contact — and there's nothing to suggest that he's been unlucky on contact.
Quintana has faced the Brewers twice, first shutting them down and then getting rocked. With that, he owns a 4.82 ERA in two starts against Milwaukee, and it seems he was figured out with ease the second go-around.
We should also note here that, as is tradition, the Cardinals will likely be throwing out their worst lineup after celebrating a division win on Tuesday night.
Brewers Have Everything to Play For
The Brewers are in a much different position than the Cardinals here. They've won four of six and now sit just 1.5 games out of the wild card with seven games remaining against Miami and Arizona following Wednesday night's showdown. Milwaukee can surely taste the postseason and will have it all to play for here.
The home side will have Brandon Woodruff working, and it has to feel pretty great about that. The right-hander owns a 1.67 ERA in his last four starts, striking out 27 in 27 innings. Opponents are just .161 off of him during these starts.
He now owns a 2.52 ERA in the second half and a 2.16 ERA in 11 home starts this season. Considering his .213 expected batting average and 3.19 xERA, we can confidently say this isn't some flash in the pan.
It's also worth noting that Woodruff has allowed just two earned runs in nine innings against the Cardinals this season with just five hits charged to him and six strikeouts.
The Brewers have certainly struggled offensively at times this season, and one of their biggest weaknesses has been left-handed pitching, owning an 89 wRC+ in that split to rank 25th in the league. They rank 13th in wRC+ over the last week, which is actually quite encouraging.
Given Woodruff's recent dominance and his track record against the Cardinals, it's hard not to love the Brewers in this spot. They have so much more to play for and will be up against what should be a pretty unassuming lineup with Albert Pujols surely sitting and the likes of Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado potentially joining him.
I don't think Quintana is all that good and it seems the Brewers solved him the last time these sides met. I'd bet on the lefty being the first one to blink, and I would make the Brewers something like -165 favorites.
Pick: Brewers ML (-150)