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Brewers vs. Cubs MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Can Milwaukee Shine in NL Central Tilt? (Wednesday, June 1)

Brewers vs. Cubs MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Can Milwaukee Shine in NL Central Tilt? (Wednesday, June 1) article feature image
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Adam Hunger/Getty Images. Pictured: Milwaukee Brewers standout Christian Yelich.

  • The Chicago Cubs host the Milwaukee Brewers in Wednesday's MLB matchup.
  • The visiting Brewers are slight -118 moneyline favorites to take down the Cubs.
  • Kenny Ducey breaks down the game below and delivers his top selection.

Brewers vs. Cubs Odds

Brewers Odds -108
Cubs Odds -108
Over/Under 8.5 (-105 / -115)
Time 8:05 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The Brewers are picking up some steam, and after taking two of three from the Cubs to guarantee at least a split of their four-game set, they’ll look to grab the series win in Wednesday’s meeting.

With Milwaukee throwing a pitcher who has never pitched at the big-league level against an established veteran, who has the edge in this latest contest? Let’s dig into this game and see where we can find some betting value.

Milwaukee Brewers

Jason Alexander will be the one to start, and contrary to what you might believe, he’s not a short, stocky bald man. He is, in fact, a 29-year-old who has spent the better part of five years at the minor-league level, pitching mainly for the Los Angeles Angels organization before joining the Marlins and Brewers’ systems in recent years.

Alexander has never been particularly good. Well, until this season. That’s when he decided to ignore every urge toward common sense and good judgment he’d ever had. He became the opposite of who he’s been for half a decade, pitching to a 2.64 ERA in nine outings across 47 2/3 innings.

His strikeout and walk numbers aren’t a whole lot different; he has just managed to pitch better to contact. It remains to be seen whether or not he can make it happen at the big-league level.

As for the Brewers’ bats, they’ve been pretty mediocre of late despite winning nine games in the last 14 contests. They own a 100 wRC+ over the last week but do rank 10th in hard-hit rate over that span.

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Chicago Cubs

Kyle Hendricks is only three years older than Alexander, but considering the fact that it feels as if he’s been a major-leaguer forever, it seems like he’s much older. The righty has continued to decline for a second consecutive year, pitching to a 5.20 ERA and 5.43 xERA in the early going.

His hard-hit rate was at a normal level in 2021, so the fact that it’s jumped up 6.5% to 39.5% this season is quite alarming.

Hendricks has always been the master of inducing soft ground balls, and he’s simply lost his touch. He’s allowed grounders at a very low 37.8% rate, by far the worst of his career. At least last year, he was still inducing grounders at a 43.1% rate — he’s never sunk below 41%. It just seems at this point that Hendricks is, as the kids say, cooked.

Despite the fact that many pitchers can pitch late into their thirties, particularly ones like Hendricks who rely on control and pitching to contact, this man appears to have lost all feel for the game.

So, too, have the Cubs. They have won just two games in the last seven and own just a 106 wRC+ in the last week of play. The bats haven’t really been the issue, but they’ve come nowhere close to performing at the level required to make up for dastardly pitching.

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Brewers-Cubs Pick

The Brewers come in with the ninth-lowest ground ball rate in the game and have been making solid contact with the ball lately. Hendricks has been victimized by hard-hit balls and has really struggled to pitch to contact on the ground.

So, the formula here is quite simple, and it would appear the Brewers will be socking the ball as long as the 32-year-old is on the bump.

While Alexander is a wild card here, it’s easy to see the Cubs are losing games due to their terrible pitching and their offense has not mustered up much in the last week or so.

I’d back the better lineup which draws a pitcher in the midst of some serious struggles.

Pick: Brewers ML (-118)

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