The St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers will continue an NL Central series on Saturday afternoon from Busch Stadium. The Brewers will give the call to Adrian Houser, and the Cardinals will counter with Carlos Martinez. The Cardinals' pitching came through again in a 3-1 home win over the Brewers in Thursday's series opener before Friday's off-day.
Brewers' Bats Slump, Houser Makes Second Start
Adrian Houser will make his second start of the young season, seeking his first victory. Houser pitched well in his season debut, limiting the potent Twins’ offense to only two runs on four hits in five innings, and took the loss in an 8-2 decision. The veteran right-hander is looking to put a tough 2020 behind him as he filed a 5.30 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP in 56 innings. Houser has posted subpar numbers against St. Louis, going 1-2 with a 4.64 ERA in 21.1 innings.
The Brew Crew lost their season-opening series at home against the Twins and countered by winning two of three at Wrigley Field this week before losing to the Cards on Thursday. The pitching has been stellar while the offense is slumping big time. Milwaukee is last with a .510 OPS.
The Brewers are expecting a big season from Keston Hiura. The batting average was below average in 2020 however the 24-year old second baseman was able to bash 13 homers along with 32 RBI’s in 59 games played. Hiura is struggling right now, hitting a terrible .043 through the first five games of the season, although he doubled in Thursday's loss to St. Louis.
Milwaukee is averaging 2.86 runs per game so far this season, landing them 27th overall. They own a 3.29 team ERA, placing them seventh in the Major Leagues.
Martinez Stumbles in Season Debut, Arenado Goes Deep
Carlos Martinez will get the call on Saturday. Martinez didn’t have his best stuff in his first performance, allowing four runs in five innings against the Reds leading to a rough 12-1 defeat. The veteran right-hander had a terrible 2020 season, logging a 9.90 ERA and a 2.10 WHIP in five starts after posting a 3.17 ERA in 2019. Martinez has shined in his career against the Brewers as seen in his stifling 2.23 ERA and a 6-5 record against the division foes.
St. Louis was able to record the road sweep over the Marlins after losing their season-opening series against the Reds. The pitching struggled against Cincy and thrived against Miami. Paul Goldschmidt is questionable for this one with a back injury.
NOLAN FOR THE LEAD! pic.twitter.com/iVZgfQXIcp— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) April 8, 2021
The Cardinals' prized offseason addition Nolan Arenado is enjoying a solid start with his new team, sporting a .345 average with five RBI’s and a .953 OPS. The 29-year old third baseman has driven in over 100 runs in five of his MLB seasons. Arenado went 1 for 4 with two RBI's at the plate in Friday’s home opener against the Brewers.
St. Louis is averaging 5.14 runs per game, landing them 11th overall. They enter with a 4.43 team ERA, placing them 19th in the Majors.
The Milwaukee Brewers are:
- No Key Trends
The St. Louis Cardinals are:
- 0-4 in Martinez's last 4 starts on 5 days of rest.
- 0-4 in Martinez's last 4 starts against a team with a losing record.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Brewers were able to win the series over the Cubs before losing Thursday’s series opener against St. Louis. Milwaukee’s pitching has been outstanding so far and Brewers’ starter Adrian Houser was able to limit the Twins dangerous lineup to only two runs in his season debut.
Furthermore, I expect the Brewers’ offense to break out against Cardinals’ starter Carlos Martinez who can’t be trusted these days. The veteran right-hander recorded an abysmal 9.90 ERA in his five starts in 2020 and gave up four runs in five frames in his first start of this season against the Reds.
Full-Game Total Pick
The under has been the dominant trend for both teams through the first week of the season. Milwaukee has allowed three or fewer runs in three consecutive games and St. Louis hasn’t been scoring a ton of runs in their promising start to the year. The under is 4-0 in the Brewers’ last four games overall.
In addition, the Cardinals' pitching has also been stellar, holding their opponent to two or fewer runs in four consecutive clashes and the Brewers’ bats have been very sluggish as their top hitters have yet to get going. The under is 6-1-1 in the last eight meetings between these foes.