Chris Sheeren had a great pick last night when he sided with the value via the Brewers and if you went with him you probably had a nice haul. We could get a similar opportunity tonight with the Brew Crew back at Busch Stadium to battle the rival Cardinals. Milwaukee has easily been the more trustworthy NL Central resident to this point, as the Brewers still lead the division with a 35-32 record.
These two rivals got this four-game series rolling on Tuesday, when fans got a fun double-header. The two sides split those first two meetings and with Milwaukee’s tight 7-6 win last night, they’re in position to split or flat out win the entire series. The pressure will be on St. Louis, who have not been reliable lately with a 4-6 stretch over their last 10 contests. The Cardinals continue to sink further down the NL Central rankings and if they can’t get a win tonight they could be one loss closer to sliding under the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds.
Vegas still likes St. Louis at home in this spot, but there could be reason to go against the Cardinals. Let’s take a closer look at the matchup to see if that’s the plan for the second day in a row:
Milwaukee Brewers (+127) @ St. Louis Cardinals (-147) Total: 9
Zach Davies (7-3, 4.74 ERA) vs. Michael Wacha (3-3, 4.50 ERA)
The Brewers put on a show early last night, as Eric Sogard got on base and saw Eric Thames launch his 17th home run of the year to put the Brewers up, 2-0. Milwaukee got up to a 5-0 lead before holding on late for a 7-6 win. Outside of Tuesday’s series-opener (6-0, Cardinals), this series has been rather tight and somewhat explosive. With average pitching on the mound for the series-closing battle, it’s possible we can expect much of the same.
Chasing the Over at a pitcher’s park like Busch Stadium usually isn’t ideal, though, so we probably need to gauge which side of this matchup we prefer. Wacha toes the rubber for St. Louis and will hope to deliver his second solid start in a row. The 25-year old righty has been solid overall in 2016 and gave up just two runs in his last start, but he’s had a few blow-up outings. Wacha has pitched his best baseball by far at home (2.95 ERA), however, and could be in a solid spot against a Brewers offense that strikes out as much as anyone.
Milwaukee does sport monster power, however, and even though this lineup remains without star outfielder Ryan Braun, they aren’t an easy matchup for Wacha. The Brewers rank 10th in home runs versus righties in 2017, so while this park isn’t the best for the long ball, Wacha will still need to watch himself early. Eric Thames is the key guy he’ll want to work around, while he still will have to be concerned with Eric Sogard, Domingo Santana and Travis Shaw.
Davies takes to the mound for the Brewers, and if pitchers were ranked based off of wins alone, he’d be among the best in baseball. The erratic Davies has endured an up and down 2017 season, however, and has benefited from a lot of timely run support. That being said, Davies has spun solid ball of late and actually just shutout the Dodgers two starts ago at Miller Park. Davies still gives up more contact than we’d like to see, but he’s done well to eat innings and manage games. The 24-year old righty kept an explosive Diamondbacks offense relatively in check in his last start (4 hits, 3 runs) and hasn’t allowed more runs than that in any of his last five starts.
The kicker for Davies has to be the positive park shift. It’s not easy to make a living at the hittable Miller Park, where Davis sports an ugly 5.40 ERA. He’s slowly gotten things under control as the season has worn on, however, and has without a doubt handed in his best outings on the road (3-0, 3.98 ERA). On top of that, Davies handled this same Cardinals lineup at Busch Stadium earlier this year (2 runs in 5 innings). I’m not saying we should blindly back Davies, but he’s a positive park of this equation. St. Louis provides just the 22nd best offense in terms of power against right-handed pitchers, too, so if Davies can keep the long ball in check, he could be in solid shape.
The Cardinals remain in a solid spot at home, but they haven’t met expectations and continue to nose dive in favorable spots. I like Milwaukee’s offense enough here and Davies could be in for a solid start. The Total could be tricky, but the Brewers again provide enough value to get behind.