Brewers' Yelich looks to continue torching Cardinals in critical series
The chase is on.
With 38 regular-season games to go, the National League Central division is far from decided. Milwaukee, Chicago and St. Louis are still locked in a three-team battle.
Entering Monday, the Cardinals and Cubs are tied for the division lead while holding a two-game advantage over Milwaukee, but that all could change quickly when the Brewers visit Busch Stadium for a three-game set.
National League Central division standings (Aug. 19)
|St. Louis Cardinals||65-57||.533||-||7-3|
The good news for Milwaukee: Christian Yelich has been beyond ridiculous against St. Louis this season.
In 10 games (nine starts) against the Cardinals, Yelich is batting .387/.537/1.194 with eight homers, 19 RBI, 10 runs scored and 10 walks. He’s registered at least one hit in seven of those nine starts and 1+ homer in six of them.
The Brewers’ franchise record for homers against an opponent in a single season is 10, set by Eric Thames’ mashing of Cincinnati throughout his breakout 2017 season. Yelich has nine more games to play against the Cardinals to break Thames’ record.
We’re not betting against the MVP.
St. Louis has its own slugger to counter Yelich, however. Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt is batting .436 with six homers and 13 RBI against the Brewers in 2019, raising his career numbers to a .379 BA and 1.193 OPS against Milwaukee.
The Brewers and Cardinals have been even so far this year, with both teams taking five games apiece in the season series. However, the Brewers hold a schedule advantage down the stretch. Milwaukee is tied with Chicago for the lowest opponent winning percentage (.491) the rest of the way. Just 18 of the Brewers’ final 38 games are against teams that are .500 or better. The Cardinals, on the other hand, face .500+ teams in 23 of their remaining 40 games.
-- The Brewers hit their 200th home run over the weekend, becoming the third NL team this season to notch the milestone. And it took Milwaukee just 124 games to do it, the second-fewest games needed for an NL team to reach the 200-homer mark.
-- St. Louis has allowed the first run in 53% of its games this season (65 of 122). The Cardinals own a 28-37 record in those contests, the second-most wins in baseball after allowing the initial run.
-- -- Brewers starting pitcher Zach Davies, who will get the call Monday night in the series opener, has allowed six homers and owns a 11.77 ERA in his past three outings.
Statistics courtesy Sportradar, baseball-reference.com