We picked up yet another money line underdog winner last night when we backed the Milwaukee Brewers as home underdogs against the Los Angeles Dodgers. I loved the fact that Milwaukee would be playing at home and more importantly, I loved that they had a full rested bullpen after a much-needed day off. The teams played three games in three nights in Los Angeles, and the Brewers absolutely abused their bullpen and the day off had me thinking these guys would be ready to do whatever it took to get the job done and send this series to a seventh game.
I also felt that Wade Miley was the better side of the starting pitching matchup as he had yet to allow even a single run in the playoffs this season. So, I fired on the home dog Brew Crew and watched the game play out. It certainly started out rough, as on the first pitch of the game, David Freese blasted a home run off of Wade Miley to give the Dodgers the lead. But after that, it was all Brewers.
The Brewers answered in the bottom of the first for four runs of their own and followed it up with another run in the second inning to extend the lead to 5-1. When all the smoke cleared Milwaukee took the game 7-2, and with the win, has sent this series to a seventh game. That well rested Milwaukee bullpen? Yeah, they didn’t allow a single hit in four and two-thirds of an inning worked and managed to save superstar reliever Josh Hader for game seven.
Starting tonight in game seven for the home team Brewers is Jhoulys Chacin (15-8 3.50 ERA), and for the Dodgers, it is rookie Walker Buehler (8-5 2.62 ERA). The Dodgers are small -110 road favorites. The game total over-under is set at seven and a half runs. First pitch is scheduled for 5:09 PM PST from Miller Park in Milwaukee.
The Brewers will start Jhoulys Chacin tonight in game seven, but as they have done all playoffs long, I expect them to keep him on a very tight leash as their strong bullpen is ready to carry this team to their first World Series since 1982. Chacin has done more than his fair share in the postseason for Milwaukee as he has been their most reliable inning eater in a time where most of their starters are only getting a couple of innings at the most.
Chacin in the postseason, including the game 163 tiebreaker, has pitched a total of sixteen innings and has allowed just one earned run on seven hits. He hasn’t allowed a single run in either of his last two starts. That includes a masterful performance against the Dodgers in this series where he pitched five and a third innings and allowed no runs on three hits and he picked up the win for his efforts. The Brewers must be feeling great that they have Chacin rested and ready to go for game seven.
The Dodgers, on the other hand, can’t love that they have to turn to rookie Walker Buehler to pitch the biggest game of his life tonight. Buehler had a great rookie season but, in the playoffs, he has struggled. In the first two playoffs starts of his career he is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA, and the Dodgers lost both games. He has allowed nine runs in just twelve innings pitched this postseason.
The other concern for Buehler in this game is the fact that he doesn’t like pitching outside of Dodger Stadium all that much. On the season, his road ERA was a run and a half higher than his home ERA. This guy was elite in LA, but just average on the road. Against the Brewers, in this series, he actually pitched fairly well, but the Dodgers made the mistake of leaving him in just a little too long, and he gave up several late-inning runs and was charged with the loss, throwing seven innings and giving up four runs.
How is it possible that the Dodgers are favored in this game? I guess it is just more of that Dodger bias I have been talking about all series long that has kept the Dodgers favored in every game of this series. I have bet the Brewers in each of the three games they have won in this series, and all three times they were underdogs. And that is what I am going to do again today.
I don’t have the exact math handy, but I think we can all agree you want to be the home team in a game seven situation. The crowd will be wild, and there is just something about trying to win in that atmosphere on the road that proves to be very difficult. Throw in the fact that the Brewers have the momentum, their bullpen is completely rested at his point, especially Josh Hader, who I would expect will work several innings in this one, and that they are getting the better side of the starting pitching matchup, and I see the Brewers as big favorites tonight.
So, I will gladly back the Brew Crew as underdogs yet again and I expect them to find a way to get the job done tonight at home. Buehler just isn’t ready for this spotlight, and the Brewers are. Give me the Milwaukee Brewers as home dogs tonight in game seven as they advance to the World Series at +100!