We got our week started on the right note last night with a 2-0 night that keeps us scorching hot for the season. I’m also 4-0-1 over my last five picks.
The wins didn’t come easy, to say the least.
Our first winner came between the Pirates and Reds where I had the Reds -1.5 on the run line. With a 1-0 lead heading into the top of the seventh, it didn’t look good as I needed the Pirates to tie it and the Reds to hit a walk-off two-run homer at some point, and that’s what happened. After Pittsburgh scored a run to tie it, the Reds got a two-out single followed by a two-run, walk-off homer to end it in the bottom of the seventh. We certainly caught a break there.
I also had the under 8.5 between the Phillies and Marlins. Pablo Lopez held up his end of the bargain as he stymied the Phils’ depleted lineup over seven innings, but the Marlins scattered runs throughout the game. Nonetheless, we avoided the big inning that kills under picks as the Marlins took a pivotal 6-2 win from the Phillies.
Add it up and it was a two-unit profit on the night as our white-hot season continues!
Season Record: 20-9-1
Now let’s take a look at this free MLB pick featuring the Cardinals vs. Brewers from Milwaukee.
Cardinals vs. Brewers Betting Odds
- Cardinals (-138)
- Brewers (+128)
- Cardinals -1.5 (+110)
- Brewers +1.5 (-130)
- Over 8.5 (-110)
- Under 8.5 (-110)
Cardinals vs. Brewers MLB Pick Breakdown
The Cardinals send their ace Jack Flaherty to the bump tonight for his seventh start of the season and once again the results have been excellent.
The 24-year-old has pitched to a 3.08 ERA on the season while hid 3.89 FIP, 3.59 xFIP and 3.96 SIERA all indicate he’s indeed been very good. Flaherty is racking up the punchouts at a crisp 9.23 K/9 on the season while his 2.73 BB/9 is a fine mark itself.
One thing I’ve noticed is his inability to get deep into ball games. The only time he’s exceeded five innings pitched this season was his first start of the season way back on July 24 when he pitched seven innings of two-run ball against the Pirates.
Nonetheless, he’s coming off of five innings of two-run ball in a win over the Tigers his last time out.
With a career 3.19 ERA, Flaherty has been one of the most reliable pitchers in baseball since entering the league in the 2107 season, but taking full flight when 2018 rolled around.
The Brewers send seasoned veteran Brett Anderson to the mound tonight in what marks his eighth start of the season, although the first seven haven’t gone particularly well.
Anderson owns a 4.64 ERA/4.81 FIP on the season and while he’s continued to display quality control, he remains one of the lowest strikeout pitchers in baseball with a tiny 5.73 K/9 that’s even below his 6.14 career mark.
Anderson missed his last turn in the rotation with a hip ailment, but he’s been roughed up over his last two starts, allowing four earned runs over five innings each time.
It’s not a huge sample – just 40 plate appearances – but current Cardinals hitters have combined to hit .371 with a .968 OPS and .417 wOBA against Anderson, led by Paul Goldschmidt who has rocked the veteran to the tune of a .533 average, .400 ISO, 1.544 OPS with two home runs and three walks in 18 career plate appearances.
The Cardinals don’t exactly light the league on fire at the plate, either, but they’ve been excellent against left-handed pitching this season.
As a team they have just 197 plate appearance against lefties this season, but they have posted a .241 ISO, .860 OPS, .369 wOBA and 134 wRC+ on the season against southpaw pitching. That ISO figure is third-best in the bigs while they are indeed a top-five offense versus lefties here in 2020 despite the small sample size.
The team’s offense has been up and down of late, however. They too struggled at the plate in yesterday’s twin-bill as they scored just four runs between the two games, but also scored 12 runs over their previous two.
Given their success against lefties this season and their aforementioned success against Anderson, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them get the sticks going again tonight.
The Brewers certainly had a forgettable day at the plate on Sunday as they were no-hit by Alec Mills of the Cubs and they didn’t exactly bounce back at the plate in yesterday’s double-header with the Cardinals, scoring only four runs total in those two games as well.
While Mills finished the no-no, the Brewers have been threatened with no-hitters more than once this season as they struggle mightily versus right-handed pitching.
Entering tonight’s contest, the Brewers rank 28th with a .292 wOBA on the season against right-handed pitching while their huge 26.8% K-rate against righties is the second-worst mark in the majors.
The Brewers got to lefty Matt Boyd and the Tigers’ bullpen for a whopping 19 runs last Wednesday, but have since just scored seven runs in the ensuing five games, good for a cool 1.4 runs per game. They have not scored more than two runs in any of those seven contests.
The Cardinals’ bullpen has endured some unfortunate injury luck as they were without left-hander Andrew Miller for a stint and are now without closer Giovanny Gallegos at the moment as he suffered a right groin strain in the midst of blowing a save against the Tigers last week.
They’ve hung in there pretty good with a 11th-ranked 4.10 bullpen ERA on the season, but don’t be surprised to see this group regress some moving forward.
The ERA figure is nice, but they also rank 22nd with a 4.88 FIP and 4.85 xFIP while they’ve had issues with the home run ball in the form of a 1.41 HR/9 clip as well as walks with a 4.47 BB/9.
The regression has actually kicked in already as the Cards’ ‘pen owns a 6.11 ERA over the last week while surrendering home runs at an alarming 2.25 HR/9 rate.
The bread and butter of this Brewers team is indeed the bullpen as the offense and rotation have been less than inspiring.
The Brewers sport one of the best bullpens in baseball despite the 4.25 ERA ranking 13th. They also rank first with an 11.77 K/9, first with a 3.91 xFIP and sixth with a 2.5 fWAR from that group.
While closer Josh Hader gets the bulk of the press and has been good in allowing a run in just three of his 16 outings, it’s been Devin Williams who has absolutely dominated this season. In 18 appearance spanning 20 innings, all Williams has done is work to an eye-popping 0.45 ERA/1.10 FIP/1.23 xFIP to go along with an outrageous 18.45 K/9 clip.
The team has also received excellent work from the likes of Freddy Peralta, Brent Suter, David Phelps, Drew Rasmussen and Eric Yardley, but Williams has been one of, if not the best reliever in all of baseball this season.
Cardinals vs. Brewers MLB Pick
Of course, given the work of Williams and this Brewers’ bullpen, it would be in the Cardinals’ best interest to get a nice lead off of Anderson, and I think that will indeed be the case tonight.
While the numbers aren’t terrible, Anderson doesn’t fool anyone at the plate and relies on inducing ground balls, which he’s done at a 61.6% rate this season.
Still, it doesn’t change the fact that the Cardinals have raked lefties this season and easily hold the advantage in both the starting pitching and offense categories here.
The Brewers’ offense is maybe the coldest in baseball right now and a matchup with all-world righty Jack Flaherty doesn’t lend itself well to a turnaround in this one tonight.
I’ll keep things simple here and take Flaherty and the Cardinals as road moneyline favorites tonight.