MLB Odds, Picks for Brewers vs. Cardinals: Betting Guide to NL Central Duel
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Jordan Montgomery (Cardinals)
- The Brewers and the Cardinals duel in an NL Central battle between teams heading in opposite directions.
- Milwaukee is sending Matt Bush to the hill while St. Louis is countering with trade deadline acquisition Jordan Montgomery.
- How will we bet this duel? Mike Ianniello breaks it down.
Brewers vs. Cardinals Odds
|7:45 p.m. ET
These two NL Central rivals are going in opposite directions down the stretch, and now one finds their playoff hopes slipping away.
Before the season started, Milwaukee was a large favorite to take the NL Central at -125. The Brewers took over first place in April and held it for 95 days. Since the start of August, they have gone just 18-21 and are currently on the outside looking in, two games behind the final wild-card slot.
Just like they did last year, the Cardinals have gotten red hot to finish the season. They took over first place in the division on August 6 and have held it since, currently leading by eight games.
Since August 1, St. Louis has gone 29-10 and has the best record in baseball over that stretch. Over the last two years, the Cardinals are a ridiculous 66-28 in August and September.
Brewers' Offense is Major Concern
Milwaukee will go with a bullpen game tomorrow, and Matt Bush is expected to get the ball first. The Brewers acquired Bush at the trade deadline in a deal with Texas. In 57 appearances, he has a 3.23 ERA and a really promising 2.24 xERA.
Bush has some phenomenal advanced metrics this season. He ranks in the 98% percentile in xERA and xwOBA. His .234 xwOBA against is eighth-best in the league. Bush has a 31.9% strikeout rate and almost never allows a barreling.
We know about Milwaukee’s pitching staff, but its offense has continued to fail to carry its weight. It ranks 14th in the league in wRC+ this season, which isn’t terrible. But over the last month, it sits just 23rd, while St. Louis is first by a pretty big margin.
Cardinals Sending Montgomery to Hill
Maybe the most underrated move of the trade deadline this season was the Cardinals' acquisition of pitcher Jordan Montgomery from the Yankees. He was a solid pitcher in New York, but since coming to St. Louis, he has gone 5-0 with a 1.45 ERA in seven starts.
Montgomery has allowed more than one run in a start just once since joining the Cardinals, and has kept his opponent scoreless in four of his seven starts.
Like most sinkerballers, Montgomery throws a ton of strikes and is top 10 in the league in ground-ball rate.
St. Louis is top three in the league in both wOBA and wRC+ this season, and it’s pretty obvious why. Runaway MVP favorite Paul Goldschmidt currently ranks second in the league in batting average, RBI, OPS, wRC+ and WAR.
He has clubbed 35 home runs. He has finished in the top three for MVP voting three times and now will finally win his first one. Oh, and by the way, his teammate Nolan Arenado is currently the second favorite for MVP.
Bush has been phenomenal this season, sitting in the top 2% of the league in xERA and xwOBA. He has been used mostly out of the bullpen, but in his five starts, he has allowed just one run and three hits while striking out six.
However, in each of his starts, he has pitched just one inning. After that, it is hard to know what to expect for Milwaukee going with a bullpen game. Anybody who bets on baseball knows the sweat that always seems to happen when the game is turned over to the bullpen.
So, instead of doing that for nine innings, let's just go with one for the fastest sweat in baseball.
Montgomery has been fantastic since joining the Cardinals and has yet to allow a run in the first inning with the team. Bush is terrific and he is the only known for the Brewers, so we'll back him.
Obviously you'll have to sweat the heart of the St. Louis lineup, but I like the NRFI in this one at -122, and would play it to -135.
Pick: NRFI -122