Cardinals vs. Brewers Game 1 MLB Pick – September 16, 2020

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This gig can humble you in a hurry and that’s just what happened in a 0-3 night while we weren’t even close on two of the picks.

The Royals were hammered 6-0 by the Tigers despite beginning the game with a runner on third base with one out. After the Tigers got out of that inning, Matt Boyd settled in and the Tigers got their own bats going and cruised to victory in that one.

The second loss was with authority. The Cardinals nabbed a first-inning run to take the early lead, and it was all downhill from there. Jack Flaherty allowed two first-inning homers and was eventually obliterated for nine earned runs in his three innings of work in an eventual 18-3 Brewers win. Ouch.

Finally, we had a shot at the under 8 between the Indians and Cubs. It was 4-3 in the bottom of the eight, but a throwing error on a Javier Baez steal of second led to him actually going all the way home to score. We had a push with a chance to close it out but Francisco Lindor smacked a game-tying two-run homer in the top of the ninth to sink our pick for good.

We took a big 3.38-unit loss on the night, so I’ll certainly be looking to bounce back on today’s 14-game schedule!

Season Record: 20-12-1

Units: +6.85

Now let’s check in on this free MLB pick featuring the Cardinals vs. Brewers in Game 1 of their double-header today.

Cardinals vs. Brewers Betting Odds

  • Cardinals (+143)
  • Brewers (-155)
  • Cardinals +1.5 (-171)
  • Brewers -1.5 (+151)
  • Over 6 (+105)
  • Under 6 (-125)

Cardinals vs. Brewers MLB Pick Breakdown

Starting Pitching

Cardinals

The Cardinals will send 39-year-old veteran Adam Wainwright to the mound for his eighth start of the season after the results have come back positive across his first seven. That said, it doesn’t look pretty moving forward.

While Wainwright will enter this one sporting a tidy 2.91 ERA, he’s also the owner of a 4.22 FIP, 4.54 xFIP and a 4.64 SIERA. While those aren’t horrific numbers, they are all well above his ERA figure.

Furthermore, I’m expecting the regression to come on the road. Wainwright owns a 3.09 ERA/3.89 FIP at home, but on the road he’s worked to a 2.38 ERA but also a 5.23 FIP and 4.65 xFIP. He’s benefitted from a .200 BABIP against on the road this season despite allowing 40.6% hard contact away from home.

Over his lengthy career, Wainwright owns a sparkling 2.45 ERA against these Brewers across a huge 246-inning sample while working to a 2.68 ERA in 104 innings at Miller Park in Milwaukee.

Brewers

The Brewers will send their ace to the mound for this one tonight as Brandon Woodruff makes his 11th start of the season. Unlike Wainwright, his peripherals very much agree with his season to this point.

Woodruff enters sporting a 3.40 ERA on the season, but also a 3.22 FIP, 3.54 xFIP and a 3.46 SIERA that all confirm his excellent season to this point. He’s also punched out opposing hitters at a big 11.38 K/9 clip while displaying strong command in the form of a 2.55 BB/9 on the campaign.

Furthermore, he’s been excellent at home where he owns a 3.21 ERA/3.42 FIP while increasing his K-rate to 12.21 K/9 and decreasing his walk rate to 2.25 BB/9. As a result, his 5.43 K/BB ratio at home is far superior to his still-strong 3.63 mark on the road.

In a small 13-inning sample against the Cardinals, Woodruff owns a quality 3.46 ERA while he’s worked to a 3.80 career ERA in 146.2 innings at Miller Park.

Offense

Cardinals

I was surprised that the Cardinals couldn’t get to left-hander Brett Anderson for much offense last six as they have been one of the better offenses in baseball against southpaws. That said, they haven’t been nearly as productive against righties and it’s a far tougher matchup against Woodruff.

The Cardinals enter this one ranked 20th with a .313 wOBA on the season against right-handed pitching while they’ve been unable to generate much power at all in the form of a 28th-ranked .130 ISO against them.

This is an offense that’s been forced into a ton of double-headers this season, but it’s an offense that’s struggled over the last two days, scoring just seven runs over their last three games after scoring just four in a double-header against Milwaukee on Monday followed by last night’s three runs in that blowout loss.

This will be St. Louis’ fourth double-header in the last nine games, so while it’s the first of two games today, we could also be dealing with a tired Cardinals group here coming off a demoralizing defeat.

Brewers

Lately, it’s been all or nothing for this Brewers offense.

Last Wednesday, the Brewers hung 19 runs on the Tigers in Detroit. They could score just three runs over their next three games, including being no-hit by Alec Mills of the Cubs on Sunday. They went on to score just four runs in Monday’s double-header against the Cardinals, but exploded once again for an 18-run effort last night.

It’s tough to make sense of any of that, but the lack of offense in five of their last seven games isn’t surprising considering their season-long numbers.

The Brewers are tied for 27th with a .297 wOBA on the season against right-handed pitching and have had major strikeout issues with righties in the form of a 29th-ranked 26.7% mark.

Even when they scored nine runs on Flaherty last night, six of his nine outs came via the strikeout. That said, a matchup with the low-strikeout Wainwright mitigates that weakness to an extent.

At the end of the day, the Brewers will certainly be looking for more consistency in their offense moving forward.

Bullpen

Cardinals

The Cardinals’ bullpen recently took a blow when they lost closer Giovanny Gallegos during a blown save against the Tigers last week, and with Jordan Hicks opting out, they are without two of their best back-end bullpen arms at the moment.

They did recently get Andrew Miller back from his own IL stint, and while the Cardinals have been a middle-of-the-pack bullpen so far, their peripherals don’t look pretty.

They rank 15th with a 4.44 bullpen ERA, but also 25th with a 5.06 FIP and 23rd with a 4.92 xFIP. Additionally, they rank 22nd with a 37.9% hard-hit rate allowed, as per Statcast.

The Cards’ bullpen has also struggled with walks in the form of a 4.62 BB/9 and home runs with a 1.48 HR/9, but have benefited from a low .240 BABIP against.

That positive luck is going to get reversed at some point, to be sure.

Brewers

As noted yesterday, the Brewers’ bullpen has been their bread in butter with an underwhelming offense and rotation to this point.

They sit 11th with a 4.23 bullpen ERA on the season, but also first with an 11.92 K/9, eighth with a 4.02 FIP and first with a 3.87 xFIP. Add it up and their 2.6 fWAR from their bullpen is tied with the Blue Jays and Braves for fourth in the league.

The seven-inning game here could theoretically allow the Brewers to get 5-6 innings from Woodruff before going to Devin Williams and his 0.45 ERA on the season and/or Josh Hader whose 4.30 ERA doesn’t change the fact that 13 of his 16 appearances this season have been of the scoreless variety. Much of that ERA figure comes from allowing four runs in a blown save on the weekend against the Cubs.

If Woodruff gets a lead late into this seven-inning affair, it could very well be lights out for this Cardinals team.

Cardinals vs. Brewers MLB Pick

If you couldn’t tell through the article, I’m on the Brewers here.

Both Wainwright and this Cardinals bullpen are in for regression moving forward, although I’m aware of Wainwright’s success in this building and against the Brewers in general.

Still, I have to believe the Brewers are feeling confident at the plate heading into this one and while their last blowout win was followed by underwhelming offensive performances, I believe a matchup with the regression-bound Cardinals pitching staff will allow them to keep swinging it in this one.

Add in the excellent work from Woodruff and the lights-out back end of this Brewers bullpen – one of the best groups in baseball – and I’m going to roll the dice a little bit and grab the Brewers on the run line in this one.

The Bet
BREWERS -1.5
+151
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Brenton Kemp / Author

Brenton is a lifelong sports fan who resides in Ontario, Canada. Brenton is a fan of most all sports but specializes in hockey, baseball, football, basketball, and golf. He’s a fierce researcher with a strong appetite to deliver accurate and relevant facts that in turn have led to past success with picks and DFS advice across the board. Brenton’s biggest goal is to deliver readers with the picks and advice that can build their bankroll. He takes great pride in his success and loves nothing more than to share that success for the benefit of everyone involved.