Two NL Central contenders renew their rivalry on Friday, April 7th, as the St. Louis Cardinals travel to American Family Field to start a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers. Jack Flaherty (1-0, 0.00 ERA) takes the mound for the Redbirds, while co-ace Brandon Woodruff (0-0, 1.50 ERA) goes for the Brew Crew. First pitch is set for 8:10 p.m. ET.
The Cardinals are +135 underdogs at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Brewers check in as -155 favorites. The run total is set at 8.5.
Cardinals-Brewers picks: Friday, April 7th
Out: Lars Nootbaar (thumb), SP Adam Wainwright (groin), SS Paul DeJong (back)
Out: INF Luis Urias (hamstring), OF Tyrone Taylor (elbow), SP Aaron Ashby (shoulder), SP Adrian Houser (groin)
Jack Flaherty vs. Brandon Woodruff
At first glance, it looks as though Flaherty is back to his Cy Young self after opening his 2023 season with five shutout innings against the Toronto Blue Jays. But Flaherty walked seven in that outing, while striking out just four, and his fastball sat at just 91 mph — he’s not the bat-missing force he was a few years ago.
Woodruff, meanwhile, looked exactly like the bat-missing force he’s been in his season-opening start against the Chicago Cubs, striking out eight in six innings while allowing just one run. The righty has posted a 2.74 ERA in 11 career starts against the Cardinals.
The Brewers bats have been sizzling recently, with 35 runs over their last four games. Still, Flaherty and the Cardinals bullpen should provide a stiff test, while Woodruff can go into the seventh or even eighth inning — 8.5 feels like a bit too big of a number.
Pick: Under 8.5
This comes down to the pitching matchup, and I just trust Woodruff far more than Flaherty in both quality and quantity of innings. The Cardinals lineup is capable of scoring on anyone, but they’re also down a couple key contributors at the moment.