Milwaukee Brewers at Philadelphia Phillies – MLB May 3

7:05 p.m. ET – Brewers at Phillies (-115) O/U: 8.5

The 17-11 Brewers travel to Philadelphia to take on the 13-15 Phillies in the opener of a four-game series at Citizens Bank Park. Milwaukee took three of four from the defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend, despite getting outscored 23-15 in the process.

Philadelphia has lost three of its last four games, including an 8-7 loss on Sunday night against the Mets.

About the Brewers

Milwaukee Brewers Logo 101x101The Brewers find themselves atop the National League Central as the month of May gets underway. Milwaukee is six games above .500, yet has done nothing exceptionally well outside of winning lots of close ballgames. They have a -1 run differential through 28 games which shows how well they have played in games decided by two runs or fewer.

The Brewers average four runs per game, which ranks 19th in the majors. The Milwaukee lineup is batting .217 overall, ranking the fourth-lowest in Major League Baseball. Outfielders Lorenzo Cain and former MVP Christian Yelich both remain on the 10-Day injured list currently, with hopes of returning to the lineup later this week. The two have been missed greatly, but in their absence the Brewers have turned to some unlikely sources to keep the lineup afloat. Third Baseman Travis Shaw leads the team with five home runs and 21 RBI despite posting a .220 batting average. Right Fielder Avisail Garcia has started to pick it up at the dish, batting .273 over his last seven games with three home runs and 12 RBI on the year. Second baseman Kolton Wong had a short injured list stint earlier in the season, but is batting .319 in his last 15 games.

The backbone for Milwaukee has once again been its pitching staff, which boasts a 3.68 ERA, good enough for 10th in the big leagues. The bullpen, which features the lights-out stuff of right-handed set up man Devin Williams and the wipeout slider of lefty Josh Hader, has been particularly exceptional. Both Williams and Hader have thrown 10.2 innings this season and recorded over 15 strikeouts. The solid pitching has allowed for 58 percent of the Brewers’ 2021 contests to go below the Over/Under total for the game.

About the Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies LogoThe Phillies have struggled to score runs this season, ranking 24th in MLB with 3.9 runs scored per game in the early going. Former MVP Bryce Harper and catcher JT Realmuto have been far from the issue, with each batting north of .310. First baseman Rhys Hoskins leads the team with eight home runs, which is tied for the third most in the National League.

So where has the Philly offense gone off the rails? Philadelphia is lacking production from former National League MVP Andrew McCutchen, who is batting .179 with just two home runs and nine RBI, and others who have been far too inconsistent. Despite the inconsistency from the batting order, the Phillies have managed to go above the Over/Under total in 58 percent of their outings this year.

The pitching staff for Philadelphia has been middle of the road, with a 4.44 team ERA that ranks 21st in the majors. Residing only one game back in the National League East, the Phillies should be happy they are still alive in the division race as they aim to pick it up in the coming months.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Milwaukee Brewers +1½ (-200) -105 O 8½ (-115)
Philadelphia Phillies -1½ (+170) -115 U 8½ (-105)

The Pitching Matchup

Milwaukee is turning to right-hander Adrian Houser on Monday night. Houser is 2-2 this season with a 3.65 ERA in 24.2 innings pitched spread across five starts. Houser picked up a win in his last start, going 5.2 innings and allowing three runs while recording seven strikeouts against the Marlins.

Right-hander Vince Velasquez is toeing the rubber for Philadelphia in the series opener. Velasquez has thrown 12.1 innings this season in five appearances with two games started. He has a 6.57 ERA with a 0-0 record. His last outing did not earn him the win, but despite giving up three runs over 4.1 innings of work, it did end up being enough for the Phillies to get the win.

What’s the Bet?
The Brewers are playing really solid if not spectacular baseball at the moment and have a 9-3 record away from Miller Park. Philadelphia has been better at home, but is only 5-6 when favored in games this season.

The starting pitching matchup provides a massive advantage to Milwaukee and should allow them to get to the Phillies’ terrible bullpen early in this game. Houser is a sinker ball pitcher who has been able to induce a lot of groundouts so far this season. The Brewers should be able to turn this game over to their elite bullpen with the lead and close this one out.

The wrong team is favored in this one. Back Milwaukee as short underdogs.
The Bets
Brewers ML
-105

*Odds Courtesy of MyBookie Sportsbook

Sub Categories:
Joe Menzer / Author

Joe is an award-winning writer and editor who has covered the NBA, NFL, NASCAR, golf, various collegiate athletics and other sports for newspapers, Turner Sports, Fox Sports and ESPN. He has been on the beat for seven Super Bowls, six Daytona 500s and numerous NBA playoff series and All-Star Games. He once was dispatched to Rome, Italy to spend time with an NBA draft choice who opted to play overseas, after which he produced an award-winning series of stories. He also is passionate about fantasy sports and breaking down games in ways that even novice gamblers can use to make their most intelligent wagering decisions.