Yesterday when I wrote up the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers, I noted that I felt that while Cubs starter Alec Mills wasn’t a household name, that he was the better side of the starting pitching matchup against the Brewer’s Adrian Houser. But I am going to honest here; I didn’t think he was going to be THAT much better than Houser!
And boy, was I right! All Mills did was go out and throw a complete game shutout no-hitter! Mills had full control of his arsenal and allowed just three walks on 114 pitches and will forever be immortalized in the Cubs history books. Houser? He got smashed for seven runs in just four innings of work.
Remember when Alec Mills pitched a no-hitter? pic.twitter.com/oMKjQeKkOj
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 14, 2020
While it was impossible to predict that Mills would throw a no-no and that Houser was going to get blasted, it was easy to see that the line on the game was a bad one. Despite the Brewers having a losing record nearly all season long, and Houser not pitching well for over a month, they are still consistently favorites, even when matched up with quality teams like the Cubs, with good starters on the mound like Alec Mills.
While spots like this one don’t come up every day, it isn’t all that difficult to find scenarios where the books just miss on a game like they did last night. We got to pick up an outright money line underdog winner on a game where I was clearly on the side that should have been favored. For today’s free daily betting pick, we will stay right here in Milwaukee as the Brewers try and pick up at least one hit in their doubleheader with the St. Louis Cardinals.
St. Louis Cardinals (20-20) at Milwaukee Brewers (20-24)
The Milwaukee Brewers host the St. Louis Cardinals today for a scheduled doubleheader, with second place in the National League Central on the line. These teams will play five games over the next three days, and whichever team emerges as the winner of this series will have a major foot up in the race for the playoffs in the NL. The Brewers have lost five out of their last seven games and need to find a way to stop the bleeding tonight at home.
For St. Louis, the Cardinals are coming off of a series loss themselves, as they just dropped two out of three to the Cincinnati Reds, and are now four games back of the Chicago Cubs for first place in the Central Division. The Cards hold a scant two-game lead over third-place Milwaukee, and a two and a half-game lead over fourth-place Cincinnati.
Starting today in game one of this double-dip for St. Louis is Kwang Hyun Kim (2-0 0.83 ERA), and for the Brewers, it is Josh Lindblom (1-3 6.06 ERA). The game total over/under is set at six and a half runs. The Brewers are -115 home field favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 2:10 PM PST from Miller Park in Milwaukee.
St. Louis Cardinals
I have talked at length recently about the unprecedented workload that the St. Louis Cardinals have been forced to play in the last month. The Cards are playing nearly every day, and a lot of the time, they are playing two games in a day, like they will today against Milwaukee. St. Louis has done an admirable job of finding a way to still win baseball games under all of this stress, and if the season were to end today, they would find themselves in the postseason.
The heavy workload won’t end for St. Louis, as they are going to play every single day until the end of the regular season, with eighteen games in the next fourteen days. The one thing that St. Louis does have going for them, though, is that they are finally getting healthy. The Cardinals lost several players to a COVID-19 outbreak, and most of those guys are now back on the field. Today, they will welcome back another key piece of their roster, when Kwang Hyun Kim takes the mound in game one.
Kwang Hyun Kim (2-0 0.83 ERA)
Kwang Hyun Kim hasn’t pitched in two weeks, as he went down with a kidney ailment and hit the IL on September 1st. But he is back today and is hoping that he can pick up right where he left off, as he was having an unbelievable good rookie year for the Cardinals. Kim started out in the Cardinals bullpen but was quickly moved into the starting rotation, and in three starts has been light’s out.
Kim has allowed just one earned in his three starts, spanning seventeen innings of work. He has been very stingy on the basepaths as well, as he has allowed just nine total hits and three walks. Kim was a superstar in the KBO, and at 32-year’s old, is a very experienced rookie. Getting him back on the mound is going to a major boost to the Cardinals postseason chances.
The fact that Milwaukee got no-hit yesterday was certainly the headline of the day. But the Brewers losing back to back games against the Cubs, that they just couldn’t afford to lose, was the bigger story when you look at the position the Brewers are in right now in the Central Division. The division title is out of reach now, as they trail the Cubs by six games with just sixteen games left to play and won’t have enough games left to close that big gap.
The Brewers still have a very viable path to the postseason, though, as the second-place finisher in each division also makes the playoffs this year. The Brewers trail St. Louis by two games and play ten of their last sixteen games against the Cardinals. If they can dominate these games, they will extend their season.
Josh Lindblom (1-3 6.06 ERA)
Josh Lindblom was a great feel-good story for the Brewers coming into the season. The former second-round draft pick and prized prospect hadn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2017 before this year, and had only worked 15 innings since 2013! But that feel-good story has turned into a nightmare for Milwaukee, as Lindblom has been very inconsistent.
Lindblom started the year as a starter, and in seven starts, had a 1-3 record with a 6.46 ERA. He never pitched more than five innings in a start, and in four of his seven starts, pitched four innings or fewer. Those struggles sent Lindblom to the bullpen, where he has worked out of for the majority of his career, and after two clean appearances in relief, he is back in the rotation today for game one of this doubleheader.
Who Do I Like?
Josh Lindblom should not be favored in this game. He has shown zero ability to keep guys off the basepaths, as he gives up a lot of hits and walks way too many guys. His WHIP of 1.43 tells me that his already high ERA of over six runs, could be even higher, as he is always in some kind of jam. The Cardinals are certainly no juggernaut at the plate, but they do one thing really well, and that is get on base.
St. Louis is 5th in the majors in on-base percentage at .341. Lindblom has allowed more hits than innings pitched when starting, and he has 15 walks in just thirty innings as a starter. The Cardinals are going to have guys all over the basepaths today and should find a way to score several runs off of Josh Lindblom.
St. Louis is going to score runs early in this game off of Josh Lindblom. And when you look at how Kwang Hyun Kim has pitched this year, they may not need very many runs to lock up a win in this one. I am always a bit leery when a pitcher comes of the IL, but with Kim’s injury not really being baseball related at all, I wouldn’t expect any arm or fatigue issues and he should pitch well.
Kim works extremely efficiently, as he has been able to get deep into games while keeping his pitch count low. It wouldn’t shock me if St. Louis rides Kim the entire way in this game, as they know they need to save the bullpen for what is going to be a long five-game series.
I see St. Louis scoring a couple of runs early, and Kim shutting down this Brewers team. In their last three games, Milwaukee has scored a total of just three runs on only twelve hits. And none of those games came against a starter that has pitched as well as Kwang Hyun Kim has this year. The fact that I can back the Cardinals and get dog money is shockingly high value. Give me the St. Louis Cardinals today in game one of two from Miller Park!