September 14, 2016

MLB Baseball Betting: Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago Cubs

MLB Baseball Betting:  Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago Cubs&h=253&w=372&zc=1

Remember right around the All Star Break when it seemed like every sports writer–and plenty of ‘casual’ sports writers for outfits like NPR and The Atlantic Monthly–were churning out their own version of ‘the Cubs aren’t a great team’ or ‘the Cubs overachieved early’. Don’t hear many people sounding that refrain now. Chicago had some struggles midseason but since July 15 they’ve gone 38-17 for a .691 winning clip. They’ve completed laid to waste the NL Central and carry a ridiculous 17 game lead over second place St. Louis into this game. In fact, a win here (or a St. Louis loss to San Francisco later tonight) and the Cubs have clinched the NL Central.

The Cubs’ dominance is pretty simple–they hit the ball well (#3 runs scored in the Majors) and have the best team ERA in baseball. When a team scores an average of 5 runs a game and allows an average of 3.4 runs per game good things happen. The Cubs could already be going into ‘get ready for the playoffs’ mode–they’re going deep into the bullpen for their starter today–lefthander Mike Montgomery. On paper, the Brewers could be a tough challenge for the Cubs lefthander. Against southpaws, the Brewers put up an average of 5.4 runs per game (compared to 4.1 runs per game overall) and have a 28-16 record for a whopping +18.6 units of profit.

There’s one problem with that theory–the Brew Crew faced Montgomery at home last week and he shut them down going 5 innings allowing 2 hits and 1 earned run. Jimmy Nelson gets the start for Milwaukee and he’s been in miserable form this year with a 5.82 road ERA. The Cubs destroy right handed pitching averaging 5.1 runs per game and have a record of 65-35 against them. Nelson pitched a gem against the Cubs in mid-May going 7 1/3 allowing 5 hits and no earned runs. Otherwise, Chicago has beat him like a drum. In games on 7/22 and 8/17 Nelson went 10 innings allowing 8 earned runs in two Brewrers losses. For his career, Milwaukee is 1-8 -7.6 units when Nelson starts against the Cubs including 0-3 this year. Cubs are 19-6 L3 years against the Brewers at Wrigley Field including 6-0 this year.

The price looks a bit high with Montgomery on the mound but maybe not. Cubs are 10-4 YTD as a home favorite of -200 to -225 and Milwaukee is 1-12 -10.2 units as a road dog of +175 to +200. Cubs clinch.