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My Pick: Brewers -1.5
The Brewers have been one of the hottest teams in the league in August, and they will keep rolling against the Cubs today. Given Brandon Woodruff’s resurgence and Kyle Hendricks, struggles are a recipe for a lopsided win. Considering how hot the Brewers’ offense has been, this one should be an easy cover.
The Brewers briefly lost the NL Central lead before the All-Star break, but they have been a different team since. The offense has finally come alive and is consistently producing against opposing pitching. While even bad teams get hot, it feels like Milwaukee is instead finally settling in. A hot streak would have likely been snuffed out when they were swept by the Dodgers earlier this month, but they followed that up with a nine-game win streak instead. Today’s game will significantly impact the NL Central race, and we think the Brewers will capitalize.
One big reason we believe in this Milwaukee offense is the play of Willy Adames. The shortstop has been a vital part of this team the last few years, but he was awful through the season's first four months. While his season numbers are still ugly, he is having his best month of the year. Over the last week, Adames has a .333 batting average with two home runs, a double, and seven RBIs. William Contreras has joined him, who has put up almost identical numbers during that span. This team was held scoreless last night but had plenty of opportunities to score. Look for them to bounce back with Hendricks on the mound tonight.
While he has missed the majority of the season with injury, Brandon Woodruff (3-2, 2.65 ERA) appears to be back to his old self. Aside from a sub-average start against the Rangers, the righty has not allowed more than two runs in a start. Woodruff is coming off his best start of the league, where he allowed one run, three hits, and struck out 11 across six innings. The Cubs are better than the Padres but own a measly .219 batting average against the former All-Star. Look for him to make another impressive start, giving the Brewers offense plenty of room to run up the score.
While they have lost some ground on Milwaukee, the Cubs have been playing almost as well. They have lost just one series this month, with impressive wins over the Braves and Blue Jays. However, they have also seen one of the easiest schedules in baseball since the All-Star break. The Cubs have a more impressive lineup and a far better run differential than the Brewers, but they have not looked like the better team this season. Look for the Cubs to struggle with Woodruff on the mound, leading to an ugly loss and a blow to their NL Central title hopes.
We like Woodruff’s chances to shut the Cubs down because Dansby Swanson and Jeimer Candelario have been ice-cold. Over the last week, both have batting averages below the .200 mark. Both have been driving forces during this Cubs’ turnaround, so their slumps could not come at a worse time. With one of the best pitchers in the NL on the mound, expect both slumps to continue today.
Kyle Hendricks (5-7, 3.80 ERA) has been enjoying a bounce-back season for the Cubbies, but the veteran has a 4.49 ERA over the last two months. While he has had success against Milwaukee over his career, this is not the pitcher that dominated them in the past. Hendricks has faced four bad teams over his last five starts, allowing him to keep his ERA under 4.00. Given all this and the fact that he has a 4.84 ERA home ERA, this bet is a no-brainer.
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Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.More info on Michael Savio
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