The Cubs haven't hit a ton yet in 2017, but facing Tommy Milone could be the recipe for a breakout afternoon. Keep reading for a look at today's Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers evening matchup.
Here is your annual reminder that baseball has a very long season and features more random results than any of the other major American sports: If they Playoffs began today, The Rockies and Dodgers would be locked in an intra-division Wildcard duel, with the winner advancing to face another division foe, Arizona. The other half of the bracket would deliver the eagerly-anticipated matchup between the Nationals and the Reds, whose bullpen has yet to allow a run this season. Yup.
The winner of the National League pennant will still have their work cut out for them as the undefeated Minnesota Twins lay in wait…
It’s a long, long, long season folks. But it is nice to have the reminder of the semi-randomness of baseball. The best teams win 90, the worst teams lose 90, and there’s only about 25 games – or barely 15% – in the middle. There are no “upsets” from a team vs. team standpoint and momentum is as fickle as the next day’s starting pitcher.
That isn’t a long-winded way of whining about my personal slow start. Simple a reality check on the differences between MLB and say, the NBA or the NFL. “Favorites” are never locks, and everything – EVERYTHING, revolves around the pitching matchups.
That said, today is an interesting day in baseball, as many teams have their #5 starter throwing today, while some have already turned over the rotation and have their #1 on the bump. That makes for some wonky lines and lopsided matchups. Let’s dive in with my favorite line on today’s first weekend slate of games.
Today’s MLB Pick:
Chicago Cubs -190 at Milwaukee Brewers +175 (Total: 8)
Kyle Hendricks vs. Tommy Milone
There are no sure things in baseball, but last year, the closest thing to it was the Chicago Cubs with Kyle Hendricks on the mound. The Cy Young Runner-Up was magical last year, posting career-best numbers in every category including a MLB-leading 2.13 ERA. He gets the ball today hoping to jumpstart the Cubs relatively slow start to the title-defending season. Due to some weather and scheduling oddities, Hendricks is making his first start of the 2017 season.
Hendricks has been great against the Brewers in his career, posting a 2.11 ERA in ten career starts and he is 3-1 with a 1.82 ERA in five starts at Miller Park. I expect him to be excellent today and wouldn’t be surprised if the Brewers fail to get a crooked number on the scoreboard today.
I’d also be surprised if the Cubs offense doesn’t vent a little early season frustration on Tommy Milone. The Cubs have tallied just 12 runs in four games with six of them coming in a single win against St. Louis. That’s an average of just 2 runs a game in their remaining contests. I imagine that number will progress to the mean very quickly.
Tommy Milone should help that along. The veteran is mainly starting to day to eat some innings for the beleaguered and tired bullpen. He posted a 9.00 ERA in Spring Training and was added to the rotation late to spell Junior Guerra who strained a calf just three innings into the season. He has never started against the Cubs but I am not sure unfamiliarity will give him an edge today. In his career, batters are hitting .271 off of him, and the Cubs aren’t just any lineup.
There’s not enough value in the -175 to -190 line you’ll find most places, but I am liking them on the -1.5 runline at just -110. They should put up some runs today on Milone and a tired pen, so the bet here is that Hendricks can give them a quality start. And why wouldn’t you bet on that?
Today’s Pick: CHICAGO CUBS RUNLINE -1.5 (-110)