The Milwaukee Brewers got a nice 5-2 win in Colorado last night. That returned solid value thanks to their +138 price, landing TSG readers an upset pick and getting me to 3-3 on the year. I’m still trying to piece a winning streak together and climb over .500, so obviously the goal is to kill two birds with one stone and get another win tonight.
You certainly have plenty of options on a 15-game slate, but I’m going back to the well and taking a bet at Coors Field again tonight.
Like last night, there are a lot of paths to consider here, as the Rockies enter as mild -126 home favorites. They’ve actually been surprisingly weak in their home park this year, but I expect them to show up in game two as they try to even up this series.
The Brewers don’t offer quite as much value as they brought in last night (just +106 tonight), while pitcher Brandon Woodruff will have his work cut out for him in a dangerous park against a loaded Rockies offense. The same goes for Colorado arm Chad Bettis, but he at least knows this park well and has actually been shockingly strong so far in 2018.
What’s the best betting angle in this game? Let’s break tonight’s game two showdown further to find out:
Milwaukee Brewers (+1.5, -165) @ Colorado Rockies (-1.5, +145) Total: 11.5 (-105/-115)
I liked Milwaukee last night because they bring a lot of power to the table and the pitching felt like a wash. In a very good environment for power offenses, they took advantage and returned terrific value. Tonight their price isn’t nearly as alluring and I find it a little hard to believe they’re going to go into Colorado and get a second straight win.
The Rockies have been a middling bunch at home this year, but that won’t last forever. Seeing as Milwaukee already stole game one, I expect the Rockies to fight back tonight and there is enough ammo here to suggest their offense fires off a bit.
Brandon Woodruff is by no means a bad pitcher, but he’s making just his second start of the year. He’s also not an elite strikeout guy and he does give up some contact. I think he deserves credit for his success on the road (0.82 ERA in 2017) as well as a gem against these very Rockies a year ago.
However, the sample size is incredibly small and I think his contact issues could be very problematic in this setting.
Offensively, the Rockies are still quite a handful. They do strikeout quite a bit, but their home park brings out the best in them usually and they have power stacked throughout their lineup. Woodruff has a tall order in trying to stifle the likes of Charlie Blackmon, Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, Carlos Gonzalez and even Ian Desmond.
The Brewers are no slouches on the other side. They’ve performed well on the road and they’ve stolen a lot of tight contests this year. However, Chad Bettis (4-1, 2.05 ERA) has quietly been very good so far this season.
I doubt it lasts forever and his 4.22 ERA at home is a bit troubling, but I still have to give him the edge here. The Brewers are the easier matchup from a strikeout perspective and they continue to be without one of their best power bats (Eric Thames).
The key here is the power. Bettis is going to give up some hits and maybe a few runs, but so far at Coors this year, he’s been homered on just once. The sample size is admittedly small, but if he can keep the long ball in check and work on Milwaukee’s lineup (five projected starters with a +20% K rate), I think he can pitch himself to a win.
Beyond trusting Bettis a little more than Woodruff here, I think the Rockies are due to explode a bit. I went against them last night, but their offense has been relatively tame for five games now. I’m looking for a bit of an explosion and I am really digging the value in backing them by two runs (+145). That is nice value for a home team in a volatile setting.