Cardinals at Brewers

Eric Thames is the hottest hitter in the majors and the Milwaukee Brewers are trying to ride his bat to series wins. Thames will try to add to his major-league lead in home runs and clinch at least a tie of the four-game set when the Brewers visit the St. Louis Cardinals for the second contest on Friday.

Thames slammed his eighth home run and improved to a .415 batting average, .500 on-base percentage and .981 slugging percentage with a 2-for-4 effort in Thursday's series-opening triumph. The 30-year-old is 15-for-31 with seven blasts, 11 RBIs and 16 runs scored in his last eight games - five wins - and will take aim Friday at Cardinals veteran Adam Wainwright, who is off to a rocky start. St. Louis swept a three-game series at home against Pittsburgh to begin the week with a trio of 2-1 triumphs but watched the pitching fall off on Thursday despite having Opening-Day starter Carlos Martinez on the mound. While the top of the Cardinals' rotation featuring Wainwright and Martinez has been an issue, Milwaukee ace Wily Peralta is off to a solid start and looks to improve to 4-0 on Friday.

TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Adam Wainwright (0-3, 7.24 ERA) vs. Brewers RH Wily Peralta (3-0, 2.65)

Wainwright allowed two runs and three hits in his season debut on April 4 but has since been knocked around for 10 runs - nine earned - and 21 hits in 8 2/3 innings over his last two outings. The Georgia native surrendered a pair of home runs in a loss to the New York Yankees on Sunday and needed 98 pitched to get through 4 2/3 frames. Wainwright was much stronger in three starts against Milwaukee last season, when he posted a 2-0 record while yielding a total of two runs in 22 innings.

Peralta is coming off a win at Cincinnati on Sunday in which he allowed two runs and three hits over six innings but notched just one strikeout. The Dominican showed off more dominant stuff in his first two outings, when he fanned 12 over 11 frames. Peralta failed to earn a win in three chances against St. Louis in 2016, going 0-2 with a 4.76 ERA and 17 strikeouts in as many innings.

WALK-OFFS

1. The Cardinals placed SS Jhonny Peralta (respiratory issue) on the 10-day disabled list on Thursday.

2. Milwaukee 3B Travis Shaw has homered in three straight games and four of his last five.

3. St. Louis LHP Kevin Siegrist has issued 10 walks in 6 1/3 innings this season.
Odds
SpreadMoneylineMoneyTotal
St. Louis CardinalsCardinals-1 12  -110100
10.50
o 120u -155
Milwaukee BrewersBrewers+1 12  -120-130
Moneyline Consensus: Milwaukee Brewers: 56.28%     St. Louis Cardinals: 43.72%
Vegas Prediction: Milwaukee: 5 (Loss)    St. Louis: 6 (Win)
Season Series
MilwaukeeStatsSt. Louis
6-5Vs5-6
.265Batting Average.287
4.5Runs / Game4.8
15Home Runs13
4Errors5