After a gut-punch loss in the series opener on Tuesday night, the St. Louis Cardinals will look to gain some ground in the NL Central against the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers in the second game of a three-game set. First pitch from Busch Stadium is set for 7:45 p.m. ET. Milwaukee will send ace Corbin Burnes (4-2, 3.35 ERA) to the mound, while the Cardinals are set to recall top prospect Matthew Liberatore from Triple-A to make his first start of the year.
This one is a true pick ‘em on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, with both teams entering at -110. The run total is set at 8.
Brewers-Cardinals picks: Wednesday, May 17
Out: SP Brandon Woodruff (shoulder), RP Matt Bush (shoulder)
Out: OF Tyler O’Neill (back), SP/RP Jake Woodford (shoulder), RP Packy Naughton (forearm), INF Jose Fermin (quad)
Corbin Burnes vs. Matthew Liberatore
After a bumpy start, Burnes has looked more and more like the Cy Young candidate he was last year, with a 1.73 ERA and no more than two earned runs allowed in a start since April 11. The strikeout rate still isn’t what we’re used to seeing, but his cutter/curveball combination is still befuddling hitters and producing tons of weak contact.
Cardinals fans have been clamoring for Liberatore for weeks now, and they’ll finally get their wish on Wednesday. The former first-round pick struggled badly in his first taste of the Majors last year, but he’s torn up Triple-A so far this year with a revamped mid-90s fastball that pairs nicely with his elite curveball. Questions will remain until we see Liberatore conquer the highest level, but he looks to have a full Major League-caliber repertoire at his disposal.
Burnes has been nails for over a month now, so unless the Brewers will need to do some work against Liberatore and this Cardinals bullpen to hit this over. Given that Milwaukee has been far and away the league’s worst offense against left-handed pitching this year, I don’t see it happening.
Pick: Under 8
With even odds, always go with the most trustworthy starter. There’s plenty of reason to be excited about Liberatore long-term, but Burnes is rolling right now and has a 2.84 ERA in 15 career apperances against the Cardinals. I’m betting he gets it done in a low-scoring affair on Wednesday.