The Milwaukee Brewers trail by two games in the National League wild-card race with three games left to play and have no room for a stumble when they open the season-ending series against the host St. Louis Cardinals on Friday. Milwaukee posted a pivotal 4-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday to remain in sight of the Colorado Rockies, who possess the second wild-card spot and close the season against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
St. Louis was eliminated from the wild-card derby on Thursday when it a dropped a 2-1, 11-inning decision against the Chicago Cubs. The Cardinals now turn their attention to being spoilers against the Brewers, who are vying to reach the postseason for the first time since 2011. “No one expected us to be in this position, but we knew in this clubhouse that if we came together as a group, we could be in the thick of things,” Friday starting pitcher Chase Anderson told reporters. “At the end of the season, that’s all you can ask for. We’re playing meaningful games at the end of September. It’s fun to be a part of this.” Milwaukee’s victory on Thursday was just its third in its past eight games.
TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, MLB Network, FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee), FSN Midwest (St. Louis)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Brewers RH Chase Anderson (11-4, 2.81 ERA) vs. Cardinals RH John Gant (0-0, 3.65)
Anderson lost to the Chicago Cubs in his last turn after winning each of his previous four decisions. The 29-year-old is 6-3 with a 3.12 ERA in 13 road starts - serving up just four homers. Anderson is 1-2 with a 2.95 ERA in eight career starts against the Cardinals, with the victory occurring this season (3.78 ERA in three starts).
Gant is making his second start of the season and the ninth of his big-league career. The 25-year-old threw 48 pitches in three innings in his start against the Pittsburgh Pirates last Sunday and allowed one run and three hits and walked two in a no-decision. Gant, who is facing the Brewers for the first time, has served up three homers in 12 1/3 innings with the Cardinals.
1. The Brewers are 9-7 against the Cardinals this season.
2. St. Louis C Yadier Molina (concussion) has missed three straight games and is unlikely to play in this series with the Cardinals eliminated from postseason contention.
3. Milwaukee 1B Eric Thames (foot) is expected to be back in the lineup after a one-game absence.
PREDICTION: Brewers 4, Cardinals 2