MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Brewers vs. Cubs Betting Preview (April 9)

MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Brewers vs. Cubs Betting Preview (April 9) article feature image

Quinn Harris/Getty Images. Pictured: Ian Happ

  • The Brewers are road favorites in Saturday afternoon's matchup with the Cubs at Wrigley.
  • Brandon Woodruff takes the mound for Milwaukee, while youngster Justin Steele toes the rubber for Chicago.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.

Brewers vs. Cubs Odds

Brewers Odds-150
Cubs Odds+125
Time2:20 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Thursday's Opening Day battle between the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs was far from a disappointment, with Nico Hoerner hitting a memorable two-run blast in a three-run fifth inning to help Chicago to the win.

The Cubs face another daunting starting pitcher Saturday, as Brandon Woodruff will take the mound for the Brew Crew, and he has historically dominated the Cubs.

Chicago will send Justin Steele to the mound, and is hoping to see improved form from the 26-year-old this season after a strong showing in spring training.

Can the Cubs find a way to put together some run support for their young lefty, is will Woodruff dominate?

Brewers' Woodruff Can Dominate

Woodruff will look to get things starting on his follow-up to a dominant 2021 season in his first start Saturday. Woodruff was a horse for the Brewers last season, pitching to a 2.56 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in 179 innings.

Woodruff's xERA last season was 3.27, so we could possibly see a little regression, but there is not a lot of other indications that he's anything less than a front-line starter.

Woodruff features a great fastball, and has put batters away 63% of the time on 95 mph+ fastballs since 2020, the highest mark among pitchers who have thrown 190 innings in that span.

Woodruff went 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA and 1.43 xERA in five starts vs. the Cubs last season.

Obviously the Cubs' lineup features some different faces entering 2022, but Woodruff has fared very well vs. the players projected to be in the lineup Saturday, holding them to a collective .184 BA and allowing just a single home run to Ian Happ.

Behind Woodruff, the Brewers figure to have a very strong bullpen, and obviously at this point in the season all options should be on the table.

Starting pitching leads the way for Milwaukee, but the lineup can expect average production against left-handed starters. ZiPS projects 4.61 runs per game this season from the Brewers, but if they can keep the discipline at the plate in check against Steele, I imagine a good offensive output here.

Tyrone Taylor will likely enter the lineup for Lorenzo Cain in this matchup, and Victor Caratini should take over behind home plate for Omar Narvaez.

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What Can Cubs Get Out of Steele?

Steele gets the nod in Game 2 for the Cubs, who are hoping he can build on a strong spring and flashes of excellence last season.

Altogether, though, I believe we will see Steele produce a relatively middling season and should be somewhat of a breakeven starting option.

For a guy who walked batters at a 10.9% rate last season, Steele features a relatively low average fastball velocity, which could be a problem against experienced big leaguers moving forward.

His ZiPS projected era for 2022 is 4.55, and even if that is a tad harsh he is leaving the Cubs in a considerable disadvantage against Woodruff and a rested bullpen.

In two starts vs. Milwaukee last season, Steele allowed five runs in nine innings, including four home runs and five walks. It's a small sample size, but on a day when Steele will need to be very sharp against Woodruff, it is concerning.

Brewers-Cubs Pick

Woodruff has been outright dominant against the Cubs, and there is not enough arguments as to why his play should regress for me to look away from the obvious play here.

Woodruff should continue to get the better of this lineup, and even with the potential of a few cheapish homers on Wrigley, there is a clear edge between him and Steele.

Playing the Brewers to win the first five is certainly an option, but with the bullpen options available for Milwaukee I am happy to take the game moneyline and play that edge as well.

We have seen the starter's coming out quite early to start the 2022 campaign, and I do not think that's a concern for us here whatsoever.

To me, this looks like an early season line priced as closely as -140, and I think we have value here backing Milwaukee down to -150.

Pick: Milwaukee Brewers -140 (Play to -150)

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