Milwaukee Brewers Weekly Betting Report
by Robert Ferringo - 06/01/2007
Apparently, Lindsay Lohan was driving the bandwagon for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Just a couple short weeks ago, both Lohan and the Brewers were living large and doing good things. Lohan was named No. 1 on the Maxim 100 (a reach, but who am I to say) and Milwaukee was sitting at 24-10, the toast of Major League Baseball. However, since then both have jumped the curb and found themselves in the midst of a sordid disaster that has exploited a lot of weaknesses in each of them.
It's the hubris of youth. After dabbling in the Cesspool of Success it's easy for yourself and your posse to get sucked into believing that you're better than you actually are. One thing leads to another, and all of a sudden you're behind the wheel with a .20 BAC or a .217 BA. It happens.
Now Lindsay gets to hit the rehab circuit and maybe score a cell next to Britney, but the Brewers remain caught in the undertow of the meat grinder that is the MLB schedule. Milwaukee has spiraled into a 4-12 bender since May 13, with a six-game losing streak the centerpiece of that debacle. In that time they dropped from having the second-best record in baseball to now owning the sixth-best just in the National League. They've been hemorrhaging money for backers during that span, losing dime bettors over $20,000 during that stretch.
The good news is that in that Milwaukee has only lost 1.5 games off their lead in the Central Division while bumbling through May. That says a ton about what a disgusting division they reside in, but it shouldn't give any solace to Brewers bettors. Because they're still in first place they'll be shackled with heavier moneylines, even though their play doesn't justify it.
The main reason the Brewers have stumbled is that they've seen their offense neutralized by better pitching. The high-water mark of their young season was a 9-1 homestand that concluded on May 9 in which the Brewers outscored their opponents 52-19. But if you kick out a 12-run eruption three days later against Mike Pelfrey, Milwaukee has managed just 55 runs in 17 games since that point.
Milwaukee is currently third in the league in home run with 67 and they possess the N.L.'s top one-two punch with Prince Fielder (17 bombs) and J.J. Hardy (15). However, the rest of the lineup has been streaky and undisciplined. They're getting next to nothing out of leadoff man Rickie Weeks (.243 batting average). Third base has been a black hole, with Craig Counsell and Tony Graffanino combining to hit .218. Also, Bill Hall started the season as the cleanup hitter but has since been demoted to No. 7 after stumbling to a .256 average.
Besides subpar performances from key positions in the lineup, another major reason the Brewers have come back to earth is that they've faced better competition. The Brewers started the year 16-6 against Central Division foes. Toss in a three-game sweep of the Nationals when they had the worst record in the league and that's the brunt of that 24-10 start. Since that period they've been involved in six series against teams that, as of May 30, were at or above .500. The Brew Crew has managed to go just 5-13 against the upper crust of MLB.
So where are we then? What's the score? Well, the stumbling drunks from Milwaukee get to raid their townie bars for 16 of their next 25 games. The Brewers have seven games left on this 10-game homestand, with four coming against the Marlins and three versus the Cubs. I can see them putting together some decent ball during that span before an awkward trop to Texas to take on the Rangers.
But I don't see the Brewers performing much better against the top level teams this year. I have them pegged for an 85-79 season, winning the division title as the only Central club above .500. But I will be playing solidly against them versus better opponents. For instance, they head to Detroit for a three-game stanza in mid-June. I will be looking for at least a series win for the Tigers and at best a sweep. But beyond that I see winnable series and potentially profitable situations creeping up against Chicago, Kansas City and Houston in June.
Hopefully, the bandwagon will be back in full, raucous form by then. And maybe they'll kick Lindsay to the curb and go with Robin Yount as the designated driver.
2007 Record Betting On/Against Milwaukee: 13-8 (+7.79 Units).
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