MLB Odds, Pick, Prediction: Brewers vs. Cardinals Betting Preview (Thursday, September 30)
Ron Vesely/Getty Images. Pictured: Paul Goldschmidt
- The Cardinals and Brewers game this afternoon is essentially a toss-up according to oddsmakers.
- Both teams have their playoff positions solidified and have their eyes firmly planted on October.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting prediction.
Brewers vs. Cardinals Odds
|Over/Under||9 (-105 / -115)|
|Time||1:15 p.m. ET|
Well, just when it looked like the St. Louis Cardinals would never lose another game, their 17 game winning streak finally came to an end last night at the hands of the Brewers.
The Cardinals’ streak was tied for the sixth-longest winning streak in baseball since 1920. That streak could not have come at a better time.
FanGraphs pegged the St. Louis at just a 1.3% chance to make the postseason on August 8. However, they’ve gone 33-13 since the date and clinched a postseason berth on Tuesday.
Now both of these teams are already locked into their postseason playoff scenarios and have nothing left to play for.
Milwaukee is the NL Central Champions. It’s locked in as the two seed and will host the NL East Champions.
St. Louis will play in the Wild Card game on the road at either Los Angeles or San Francisco.
So with nothing left to play for — and the streak coming to an end — how do we attack a meaningless game between two division rivals?
Even Brewers’ Pitching Staff Has Weak Link
Milwaukee has an absolutely loaded pitching rotation, with three legitimate Cy Young candidates, and two other really strong pitchers. But even the strongest families have a black sheep. And for the Brew Crew that is Thursday’s starter Brett Anderson (LHP).
The 33-year old veteran of this staff is 4-9 this season with a 4.30 ERA and 5.76 xERA. He ranks in the bottom 10% of the league in xBA, xwOBA, xERA and K%. His 47.9 HardHit% is in the bottom 2% of the league.
Pitching is the clear calling card for the Brewers and has carried this team. The offense has been below average all year, ranking 22nd in wOBA and 24th in wRC+ over the last month.
The trade for shortstop Willy Adames has worked out great for Milwaukee as he’s been its best player down the stretch. Since trading for him in May, he has a .382 wOBA, 138 wRC+ and 3.8 WAR, all of which lead the Brewers this season.
Cards’ Offense On Fire
Another veteran will oppose Anderson, in J.A. Happ (LHP).
The 38-year old has been just as bad.
Starting the year with Minnesota before coming to St. Louis at the trade deadline, Happ is 9-8 with a 5.86 ERA and 5.22 xFIP.
Happ does rank in the bottom 10% of the league in xwOBA and ERA, but he’s been much better since joining the Cardinals. After posting a 6.77 ERA with the Twins, he dropped that number down to 3.97 with St. Louis.
It should come as no surprise that the hottest team in the league has had the hottest offense in the league.
Since the beginning of the streak, St. Louis has had the highest wOBA and wRC+ in the league. They averaged 6.4 runs per game during the streak.
Paul Goldschmidt has made a late MVP push that’ll likely fall just short.
Regardless, he’s been tremendous. Over the last month, he’s batting .340 and ranks fourth in the league with a 1.141 OPS.
I don’t love the idea of backing Happ, so instead, I’ll just play the red hot St. Louis offense that’s been the best in the league over the last two weeks — and that includes a game against Anderson last Wednesday.
Anderson got pulled in the second inning of that game after St. Louis scored six runs.
In his last seven starts, Anderson is 1-4 with a 5.33 ERA.
My one hesitation here is with neither team having anything to play for, a long emotional winning streak coming to an end, and quick turnaround to a day game, you might see the Cardinals rest a couple players.
I like the Cardinals Team Total over 4.5, but wait until the lineup is announced to make sure all the big guns are playing. I would want Goldschmidt, Tyler O’Neill, Harrison Bader, Dylan Carlson and Nolan Arenado in the lineup to pull the trigger here.
Pick: St. Louis Team Total over 4.5 (+115) (Pending lineup)