MLB fans should gear up for an explosive affair on Friday night, as the Milwaukee Brewers head to Chase Field to battle the Arizona Diamondbacks. Milwaukee just got done blowing a tight game at home with the San Francisco Giants on Monday, but split the four-game series (2-2) and still sit atop the NL Central with a solid 32-29 record.
The Brewers enter Arizona with star outfielder Ryan Braun still on the shelf, but are otherwise healthy and could be ready to rock in a park that is actually much more friendly than the hittable Miller Park. Milwaukee strikes out at a high rate, but boasts some of the best power in the majors and also has performed quite well (15-10) on the road in 2017.
None of that guarantees the Brewers will stage the road upset tonight, as Arizona has been the better team by all accounts. The Diamondbacks are knee-deep in a three-team race for first place in the crowded NL West, where they boast an elite 37-25 mark and rest just two games behind the Colorado Rockies. Arizona understandably needs to keep pace with both the Rockies and Dodgers if they want to win the division, but all signs points to them having the ability to do that.
Arizona enters the night with a lethal 24-8 record at their home base this year, while they also come in hot as winners of three straight and 6 of their last 10.
Milwaukee Brewers (+115) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (-135) Total: 9.5
Zach Davies (6-3, 4.69 ERA) vs. Randall Delgado (1-1, 3.24 ERA)
We get an interesting matchup on the mound on Friday night, as Zach Davies and Randall Delgado will try to keep their recent success going. Davis is fresh off of a gem where he shutout the Los Angeles Dodgers at home, while the 24-year old righty has given up just 7 total runs over his last four outings. Davies has done a fantastic job at generating softer contact and even held his own at home against this very Diamondbacks squad (3 runs in 6 innings).
Delgado has been even better, as the 27-year old hurler has allowed a combined three runs across his first three starts of the year. Delgado got away with 12 fly balls in his last start and has benefited from two favorable road tilts and a home date with a weak White Sox offense. Friday marks his first true test of the year, when he gets a Milwaukee offense that tends to swing for the fences.
That hasn’t equated to a problem for Delgado yet, but his past numbers at Chase Field aren’t exactly encouraging. Delgado sported a weak 5.36 ERA at home in 2016, while coughing up six home runs and allowing opponents to bat a clean .276. He’ll have quite the tall order in keeping the Brew Crew in the park, especially considering the Brewers have mashed right-handed pitching when it comes to the long ball and rank 8th in the majors with 65 jacks against righties on the year.
Davies isn’t exactly set up for a gem here, either. Milwaukee’s young pitcher is no stranger to the long ball and gets a date with a stacked Arizona lineup that ranks just behind Milwaukee (10th) in terms of power versus righties, but sports a far better batting average (5th in baseball).
Ultimately, this is not a terrible spot to take a stab on the Brewers as a road underdog. They have fared well on the road, they get a positive park shift, their pitcher is in solid form and they have the power to deliver Delgado his worst start by a mile. That’s not really the bet here, though. If we believe the Brewers have a shot here, we need to consider it from both angles, as Arizona has just as good of a matchup and Chase Field leads the majors in both runs and home runs on average.
We don’t mind the Brewers as an upset pick due to the value, but the best play is the Over.