Brewers at Padres Picks and MLB Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 4/24/2013
In my opinion, you can lump the Milwaukee Brewers with the Colorado Rockies early this season: Nice beginning to the year, but I can't see you as a playoff team.
Milwaukee opened a three-game series in San Diego on Monday night -- and six-game West Coast trip -- with a 7-1 blowout of the Padres for its eighth straight win after a 2-8 start. With Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo on the mound for Tuesday's Game 2, things were looking good for Milwaukee to win No. 9 in a row for the first time in 10 years -- which was also the last time it had a double-digit winning streak, a possibility on Wednesday.
Last year, the Brewers led the National League in homers and runs thanks to another MVP-caliber season from Ryan Braun but missed out on the playoffs. This year, they are middle-of-the-pack in the NL in runs but had outscored opponents 46-24 in the eight-game winning streak. It should be noted that six of those wins came at home and three were against the lousy Cubs, a team the Brewers have pummeled in recent years at Miller Park. The Padres aren't any better than Chicago.
Brewers at Padres Betting Story Lines
Milwaukee caught a break when big free-agent acquisition Kyle Lohse, signed late in Spring Training, suffered only a dislocated left pinkie during Monday's win. The team thinks he should be able to make his next start. Obviously, if it was on his pitching hand, things would be different. Lohse has been the team's best starter with three quality starts in four outings and a 2.52 ERA.
Braun is off to another strong start, hitting .296 with six homers and 19 RBI entering Tuesday's game. He had four homers and 11 RBI in the past five games, and I recommend any “over” hitting props for him Wednesday. He has five homers and 13 RBI in 16 career games at San Diego's Petco Park. The Brewers are winning despite a terrible start for talented second baseman Rickie Weeks (.171, 1 HR, 3 RBI) and the fact that third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who had a big 2012, has been limited to four games this year with a knee injury. In addition, starting first baseman Corey Hart (knee surgery) has yet to play in 2012 and won't be back before the end of May. He hit.270 with 30 homers and 83 RBI last year, one of five Brewers with at least 19 homers (Braun, Ramirez, Weeks and Carlos Gomez).
The Padres simply don't have many legitimate big-league hitters and had scored just three combined runs in a four-game skid entering Tuesday. No player has more than two homers (despite the Petco fences being moved in this year) or double-digit RBI. All-star third baseman Chase Headley didn't make his season debut until last week because of a thumb injury and has been off to a slow start with a .222 average, a homer and three RBI; he led the NL in the latter category a year ago. The Padres were set to get back one of their best hitters Tuesday as Carlos Quentin was to return from a suspension he earned by charging the mound against the Dodgers' Zack Greinke, which led to Greinke's broken collarbone. Quentin (hitting just .179) was lucky to only get an eight-game suspension. San Diego remains without outfielder Cameron Maybin (hitting just .091) with a sore wrist. He was placed on the 15-day DL on April 17.
Pitching-wise, the Padres rank last in the NL in ERA and quality starts (five). On Wednesday, they start Edinson Volquez (0-3, 8.84), who was supposed to be the ace but has been one of the league's worst pitchers. He did have his best start of the year last time out, allowing two runs and eight hits in six innings of a no-decision at the Giants. Last year, when Volquez had a 2.95 ERA at home, he made two starts against Milwaukee and was 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA. Braun is hitting .360 with a homer and five RBI in 25 career at-bats against him.
Right-hander Marco Estrada (2-0, 4.50) starts for Milwaukee. He has delivered three straight quality starts, and the Brewers have won all three. Estrada has a 3.46 ERA in two 2012 road starts compared to 5.73 in two at home. He didn't face San Diego a year ago, and only three Padres have even a couple of career at-bats against Estrada.
Brewers at Padres MLB Betting Odds and Trends
At BetOnline, Milwaukee is -115 and San Diego +105 with the total at 7.5. All trends entering Tuesday: the Brewers are 12-6 “over/under” (4-2 on road) and 7-11 on the runline. The Padres are 9-9-1 O/U (4-2-1 at home) and 9-10 on the runline.
The Brewers are 6-0 in their past six against a righty starter. Milwaukee is 4-1 in Estrada's past five starts and 6-2 in his past eight starts vs. teams with a losing record. The Padres are 1-4 in their past five Game 3s of a series. They are 1-6 in their past seven against a right-handed starter. San Diego is 6-0 in Volquez's past six vs. the NL Central but 0-5 in his past four starts vs. a team with a winning record. The over is 6-0 in Estrada's past six road starts vs. teams with a losing record. The over is 5-1-1 in San Diego's past seven home games vs. a righty starter.
Brewers at Padres Picks and Betting Predictions
Milwaukee has really improved since manager Ron Roenicke replaced struggling John Axford with unknown Jim Henderson as closer. Henderson has allowed one earned run in his past six starts, picking up four saves and a win. Axford seems to enjoy being a set-up man, not allowing a run in his past four outings.
Volquez has the stuff to win this game on his own, not that he's shown it much this year, while Estrada is solid but nothing special. Still, I just don't see how the Padres (who are 1-6 at home entering Tuesday) can score more than three runs, while Braun can account for that many himself. Take Milwaukee and the over.
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