BenFred: When Cardinals play Pirates (and Reds and Cubs), they’re really playing the Brewers

Ben Frederickson

Four games back — and falling.

This is where the Cardinals find themselves in the National League Central standings as they head to Pittsburgh.

A visit with the Pirates should come at the perfect time. A continued influx of youthful energy, this time in the form of left-handed hitting Nolan Gorman and left-handed pitching Matthew Liberatore, should help. So should Pittsburgh’s MLB-worst minus-71 run differential.

But can and will the Cardinals take advantage?

The club they are once again chasing for the National League Central lead does.

I’m once again sensing some consternation in Cardinal Nation about the division-leading Brewers. ‘Sure, Milwaukee is leading the division, but come on,’ seems to be the general tone. ‘Look at who the Brewers have been playing,’ I keep hearing. I’m looking. Here’s what I see. The Brewers have played a lot of losing teams early this season. And they tend to beat them. That’s the key to winning the National League Central now. It’s why the Brewers are back in front again this season after winning the division last season, too.

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Click here to read the full article at St. Louis Post-Dispatch >