stats-recaps1
Major League Baseball
Preview
St. Louis at Milwaukee
When: 2:10 PM ET, Sunday, April 23, 2017
Where: Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Mike Leake muddled through a mediocre first season with St. Louis in 2016, but he is showing why the Cardinals shelled out big bucks to bring him in as a free agent in December 2015. The owner of a major National League-low 0.84 ERA, Leake will make his fourth start of the season when visiting St. Louis wraps up a four-game series at the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.

Leake finished 9-12 with a career-high 4.89 ERA in the first season of his five-year, $75 million contract, but he is giving the Cardinals plenty of bang for their buck through his first three starts. Opposing Leake would be a difficult task for any pitcher, but especially so for Milwaukee right-hander Jimmy Nelson as he prepares to face his biggest nemesis. Nelson is winless in nine appearances (eight starts) versus St. Louis with an 0-7 record and bloated 7.34 ERA. St. Louis has won five of six following its 3-9 start and extended its home run streak at Miller Park to a staggering 24 games on Aledmys Díaz's pinch-hit blast in Saturday's 4-1 victory, the Brewers' fourth defeat in five contests.

TV: 2:10 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Mike Leake (2-1, 0.84 ERA) vs. Brewers RH Jimmy Nelson (1-0, 4.42)

From the how-good-has-he-been department: Leake stymied Pittsburgh on one run and seven hits over 6 1/3 innings Tuesday and saw his ERA rise from 0.60 to 0.84. The 29-year-old was brilliant in his previous outing as well, tossing seven scoreless innings of four-hit ball while striking out seven and not walking a batter. Leake has held Milwaukee's Ryan Braun (5-for-25) in check, but he must be wary of Jonathan Villar (4-for-7).

Nelson's season got off to a promising start when he pitched six innings of one-run ball against the Chicago Cubs and following that up by picking up the win with seven innings of one-run ball at Cincinnati. His rematch with the Cubs on Tuesday was a different story, as he was battered for seven runs and nine hits over 5 1/3 innings. Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter has tormented Nelson, going 8-for-16 with two homers and seven RBIs.

WALK-OFFS

1. Cardinals 2B/3B Jedd Gyorko has scored four times and is 6-for-11 with two doubles, a triple and a homer in the series.

2. The Brewers lead the majors in homers with 33, but had their 13-game streak with at least one blast snapped Saturday.

3. Cardinals CF Dexter Fowler was not in the lineup Saturday after exiting Friday's game due to right heel bursitis.

PREDICTION: Cardinals 6, Brewers 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
St. Louis 7-10 W1 5-4 2-6 1-2 6-5 0-0 0-3
Milwaukee 9-9 L1 3-6 6-3 0-0 6-6 1-3 2-0
Last Meeting
St. Louis Milwaukee
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
4/21/17 STL 6 MIL 3 .343 1 .883 .270 1 .722
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
St. Louis J. Gyorko .714 5 2.179
Milwaukee J. Villar .444 4 .889
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
St. Louis J. Gyorko 1 3 1
Milwaukee E. Thames 1 2 2
Pitching ERA Avg K
St. Louis 5.29 .319 28
Milwaukee 5.50 .275 12
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
St. Louis M. Carpenter .250 12 .763
Milwaukee E. Thames .379 22 1.359
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
St. Louis A. Diaz 3 7 5
Milwaukee E. Thames 8 20 14
Pitching ERA Avg K
St. Louis 4.29 .224 143
Milwaukee 4.23 .240 141