Cubs at Brewers Picks and MLB Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 6/26/2013
The Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers are two of the worst teams in baseball, and neither figures to be all that much better next year. Yet Wednesday's matchup at Miller Park will be very closely examined by many around baseball. Why? Because the two starting pitchers, the Cubs' Scott Feldman and Brewers' Yovani Gallardo, are in-demand potential trade targets.
The Cubs signed Feldman just to a one-year deal this offseason, specifically for the purpose of hoping he would have a strong start to the season and then have trade value before the July 31 deadline. That strategy worked well last year with Paul Maholm, who was flipped to Atlanta for one of the Braves' top pitching prospects in Arodys Vizcaino, who, alas, is hurt again. The switch to the NL has worked with Feldman -- as it often does with pitchers leaving the slugging AL. He wasn't very good last year with the Rangers, but he enters this start at 6-6 with a 3.39 ERA. Feldman also has postseason experience, something you can't teach.
The Cubs are 100 percent sellers right now as Theo Epstein continues to restock the farm system that already has gotten much better under him. Still, the Cubs are probably not going to contend until at least 2015. Feldman can be had as can fellow starter Matt Garza, relievers Kevin Gregg and James Russell, and outfielders Nate Schierholtz, David DeJesus and Alfonso Soriano.
Milwaukee, meanwhile, is in a bit of a different predicament with Gallardo. The guy has No. 1-type stuff, is only 27 and has a reasonable contract: $11.25 million next season and a $13 million team option for 2015 with a $600,000 buyout. While this season is a lost cause, maybe Milwaukee thinks it can contend next year. However, if the Brewers think star Ryan Braun perhaps could face a long suspension next year for his ties to the Biogenesis clinic in Miami, the Brew Crew could be more apt to trade Gallardo as they would essentially be punting on 2014, too. Gallardo is pitching well after a slow start and would bring back a nice package. Milwaukee also would like to dump third baseman Aramis Ramirez, but he likely makes too much money to find the right sucker.
Expect to see plenty of scouts with speed guns in the stands if watching or attending this game.
Cubs at Brewers Betting Story Lines
Chicago seemingly has a young star building block in shortstop Starlin Castro, but he has regressed in a big way in 2013. The two-time all-star entered Tuesday's series opener batting just .228 after hitting .283, .307 and .300 the previous three seasons. The guy wouldn't know a base on balls if it bit him in the rear end, which explains his horrendous .264 on-base percentage. He also has 14 errors, which leads the majors. Maybe the Cubs need to send him down, which was threatened earlier this year.
Castro has had success against Gallardo (6-6, 4.09). Castro is hitting .393 in 28 at-bats off him. Soriano has struggled against Gallardo, hitting .160 with 11 strikeouts in 25 at-bats. Gallardo has not allowed an earned run in his past three starts, lowering his ERA to 5.25. He hasn't faced the Cubs this year but is 7-2 with a 2.95 ERA and 105 strikeouts over 88 1/3 innings in 14 career starts against them.
The Brewers' trade of Zack Greinke to the Angels last year is looking great because of shortstop Jean Segura, the key piece coming back. He's hitting .336 with 11 homers, 31 RBI and 25 steals (all stats entering Tuesday) and would be a Rookie of the Year favorite most seasons if not for Cardinals stud Shelby Miller and Dodgers sensation Yasiel Puig. The Brewers may or may not have Carlos Gomez for this game. He crashed into the center-field wall on Sunday and is day-to-day. He's been awesome, batting.313 with 12 home runs, 37 RBI and 15 stolen bases.
The league might be figuring Feldman out as he has a 4.81 ERA this month, and the Cubs have lost three of his past four starts. He faced Milwaukee at Miller Park on April 21 and allowed four runs (one earned) and three hits in five innings. Braun has a homer and three RBI off Feldman in six at-bats. Yuniesky Betancourt is hitting .333 with three RBI in 18 career at-bats.
Cubs at Brewers MLB Betting Odds and Trends
At BetOnline, the Brewers opened at -140 and the Cubs at +130 with the total at 7.5. All trends entering Tuesday: Chicago is 33-38-3 “over/under” (11-22-2 on road) and 42-32 on the runline. Milwaukee is 40-32-2 O/U (23-16 at home) and 29-45 on the runline.
Chicago is 4-0 in Feldman's past four starts in Game 2 of a series. It is 5-1 in Feldman's past six against teams with a losing record. The Brewers are 6-1 in their past seven Game 2s of a series. The Brewers are 5-1 in Gallardo's past six Game 2s. They are 1-4 in Gallardo's past five against the NL Central. The under is 6-1-1 in Feldman's past eight road starts. The over is 18-7-1 in Gallardo's past 26 home starts. The Brewers are 8-2 in Gallardo's past 10 vs. the Cubs. The under is 4-1 in the past five meetings in Milwaukee.
Cubs at Brewers Picks and Betting Predictions
The Cubs are 9-24 against NL Central teams entering this series and were swept earlier this year at Miller Park. Chicago has lost 12 of the past 14 meetings. Gallardo has it going right now. Take Milwaukee and the under. I like the Brewers on the runline as well at +155.
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