Brewers vs Cubs Pick Tuesday | MLB Odds, Predictions Today (August 29)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Willy Adames and Christian Yelich.
Brewers vs. Cubs Odds
The Milwaukee Brewers will look to push their winning streak to double-digits and extend their division lead to six games in the second matchup of an important series at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.
Corbin Burnes (3.65 ERA, 158 IP) will take on Justin Steele (2.80 ERA, 138) in a playoff-caliber pitching matchup.
The Brewers' offense remained hot in Monday's series opener as they put up six runs from 11 hits off of Jameson Taillon and the Cubs bullpen. They have now hit to a wRC+ of 103 over the last 14 days, and a mark of 99 over the last 30.
By no means will those marks blow anyone away, but they become a scary team to face with an offense that presents anywhere better than league average.
Tuesday's matchup presents a far greater challenge, as they take on Steele in pitcher-friendly conditions. Wrigley is likely to have 10-15 mph winds blowing in from center field at opening pitch.
The Brewers have hit to a wRC+ of 95 versus lefties this season, which is still considerably better than their lowly marks versus right-handed pitchers.
Burnes has slipped with two notably poor starts over his last three, but nothing from those outings should draw particular concern. He has still pitched to a 3.02 ERA since the All-Star break, with a WHIP of just 0.95 and is boasting his usual nasty stuff.
Burnes' cutter, curveball, and slider boast Stuff+ ratings of 125, 127, and 155, respectively, and that combination allows him more leeway pitching inside of the zone than pitchers with more modest stuff. His 39% hard-hit rate on pitches inside the strike zone since last season is the ninth-best mark in baseball.
He has pitched to an xERA of 3.38, and an xFIP of 3.98 across 158 innings in 2023. It's worth noting that in 87 2/3 innings on the road he owns considerably better splits with an ERA of 3.08 and a WHIP of 0.99, which is consistent with each of the two seasons previous.
Milwaukee's bullpen has remained a strength over the last 30 days, as it owns a 3.35 ERA and 3.93 xFIP.
Steele will keep his name loosely in the NL Cy Young conversation on Tuesday with a strong start in this important spot. The 28-year-old lefty has pitched to an xERA of 3.48 across 138 innings with a WHIP of 1.17.
He has taken a step backward in the second half in terms of actual runs allowed, with an ERA of 3.28 across 48 innings. His second-half WHIP has also ballooned to 1.39 overall, but over each of his last five starts Steele has put an xFIP score of 3.74 or lower.
He has pitched to a Stuff+ of 99 this season, with a Location+ of 102. Opponents own a hard-hit rate of just 35% versus his fastball this season, which is tied for the best mark in baseball.
The Cubs' offense has began to come back down to Earth after an incredible post-All-Star break surge. Over the last 30 days, they own a wRC+ of 104.
That mark worsens if we shorten the sample, as over the last 14 days they have hit to a wRC+ of just 88 with a hard-hit rate of 31.4%.
Brewers vs. Cubs
Betting Pick & Prediction
In what should be a low-event matchup featuring two elite starters and double-digit winds blowing in, and the Brewers are the clear value side here. They have been in considerably better form at the plate recently, and own far better splits against left-handed pitching this season.
Corbin Burnes has had two awful outings out of his last three, but this number seems to more than account for that considering that over a larger sample he and Steele offer comparable underlying numbers. The Brewers' bullpen has remained dominant recently, and defensively they have remained one of the better sides in the league.
The value here lies with the underdog Brewers looking to make it 10 straight wins with their ace on the mound.
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