This series may be the last chance for the Milwaukee Brewers to salvage any hope of regaining the high ground in the NL central. As the first place Cardinals and third place Brewers take hacks at each other this series, the Pittsburgh Pirates (having won 8 of their last 10), sandwiched at second place will try to not only reinforce their hold on the second wild-card spot but also make a reach for the division.
The Pitching Matchup: Lance Lynn‘s (15-9, 2.73 ERA) last outing, at Cincinnati, was possibly his best of the year. He pitched a phenomenal complete game, allowing just three hits and one run. Unfortunately, he was slapped with the loss, as one run was all the Reds needed to shut out the Redbirds with Johnny Cueto at the mound, who also just allowed three hits.
Wily Peralta (16-10, 3.75 ERA) allowed just 1 run in 6 2/3 innings in his last outing. This quality start was a morale booster for Peralta, who in his previous 3 starts had only went an average of 4 2/3 innings, gave up 16 total earned runs, and was charged with the loss in each.
The Skinny: If the Cards can provide run support and Lynn is feeling anywhere near as good as he was last time, then the Cardinals have a good chance of reducing their magic number by a game. However, judging by Peralta’s performance on the mound in his last start, he won’t simply let the Cards walk another away to a division berth. Although the Brewers held the lead in the NL Central for most of the season, they suffered a late-season collapse sit at third place; still, they are fighting hard to wrestle the second wild-card spot from Pittsburgh.