Reds vs Cardinals: Preview, pitching matchups and prediction

ST LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 23: Dylan Carlson #3 of the St. Louis Cardinals attempts to score a run against the Cincinnati Reds in the fourth inning at Busch Stadium on August 23, 2020 in St Louis, Missouri. Carlson was out at the plate. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 23: Dylan Carlson #3 of the St. Louis Cardinals attempts to score a run against the Cincinnati Reds in the fourth inning at Busch Stadium on August 23, 2020 in St Louis, Missouri. Carlson was out at the plate. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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Brad Miller #15 of the St. Louis Cardinals throws against the Cincinnati Reds.
ST LOUIS, MO – AUGUST 20: Brad Miller #15 of the St. Louis Cardinals throws against the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

Cardinals infielder has been a pleasant surprise

Someone forgot to tell Brad Miller that Anheuser-Busch is the dominant force in St. Louis. Playing in his first season for the Cardinals, the eight-year veteran has been a focal point of the 2020 Redbirds offense.

Hitting .329, Miller leads the team with a .477 OBP, .571 slugging mark and a 1.048 OPS in 49 at-bats. Primarily playing third base and taking up the bat as the team’s designated hitter, Miller is making himself a fixture in the Cardinals lineup.

After making his debut as a 23-year-old for the Seattle Mariners, Miller has bounced around the league logging time with five different organizations before signing a free-agent deal with the Cardinals in February. However, it was his 2016 campaign as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays that he firmly established himself as a big leaguer.

The left-handed slugger recorded career highs by blasting 30 home runs and collecting 81 RBIs as the Tampa Bay shortstop. Unfortunately, the good times did not last. Miller hit just .201 the following year with nine round-trippers and began a nomadic baseball life that included brief stops in Milwaukee, Cleveland and Philadelphia.

Nevertheless, the Cardinals have been the recipient of Miller’s resurgence. Based on his track record, it’s impossible to predict what the future holds for him. Rest assured, Cardinals skipper Mike Shildt is going to give Miller every opportunity to play his way out of a position. As strange as the 2020 season is, with only 60 games the Birds on the Bat might be able to ride Miller’s hot streak all the way into October.