MLB Odds, Pick, Betting Preview for Brewers vs. Dodgers: Is Los Angeles Overvalued in NL Heavyweight Matchup? (Friday, October 1)
Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images. Pictured: Clayton Kershaw.
- The Dodgers are heavily favored on Friday over the Brewers with Clayton Kershaw on the mound.
- Los Angeles still has an outside shot at a National League West title, while Milwaukee has already clinched the Central.
- Kenny Ducey breaks down the matchup and makes his pick below.
Brewers vs. Dodgers Odds
|Time||10:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The Dodgers’ quest to take home the NL West continues on Friday against the Brewers, in a game they really can’t afford to lose.
With the stakes high, Dave Roberts will send one of his most accomplished pitchers to the hill against an offense that’s been in a bit of a holding pattern recently.
Can the Dodgers take another step towards pulling this off? Let’s take a look at the matchup.
Brewers Lineup Needs to Get Going
The Brewers neared the end of their meaningful baseball, closing in on the NL Central, and seemed to kind of relax for a bit. They lost two games in Detroit, dropped a game to the lowly Cubs and then welcomed the Cardinals in for a four-game sweep. Well, Milwaukee has responded with four wins in the last six and seem to be ramping things back up in preparation for next week.
The Brewers rank 14th in wRC+ over the last week with a 11.9% walk rate which ranks second in baseball. They have clubbed eight homers and posted a respectable .720 OPS. The numbers aren’t nearly as good as they were a month ago, but there are plenty of promising signs here.
One of them is Christian Yelich, who has recorded six hits in his last five games. He ranks 23rd in wRC+ over the last week (min. 20 PA) and enters with great numbers off of Clayton Kershaw, hitting .360 with two homers and a double. He very well may be a catalyst on Friday.
The last thing we need to talk about here is Eric Lauer, who enters with a 2.93 ERA. He’s quietly been really good for Milwaukee and gets to face one of the worst teams in the league against left-handed pitching.
Lauer’s 24.4% strikeout rate should be of great service here with the way the Dodgers are striking out at the moment, but an 8.4% walk rate for the season could be an issue.
L.A. Needs to Get Kershaw Ready for Postseason
Can the Dodgers finish atop the NL West? Well, technically, yes.
With an elimination number of two, they’ll officially be relegated to the Wild Card Game with either two losses or two wins by the Giants, who are home to face the Padres and on a six-game winning streak.
Los Angeles is one of the few teams still scratching and clawing for something in the last weekend of the season, which is why it’s one of the heaviest favorites on the card.
In one of the biggest games of the regular season, the Dodgers will turn to Clayton Kershaw. It will be doubly important to this team, considering it would like to win to keep hopes of avoiding a one-game playoff alive, but also because it would really love Kershaw to pitch like the ace he’s always been.
The lefty has not been himself for most of the season, pitching to a 4.83 ERA in May, a 3.09 ERA in June and then getting injured in July. Since returning, he’s pitched just 13 2/3 innings in three starts, allowing five earned runs and striking out 16.
The swing-and-miss stuff has been there for Kershaw, which is encouraging, but hitters are still making a bit too much quality contact at the moment. His hard-hit rate this year has risen to the highest number in the Statcast era, 36.8%, and he’s allowed a gaudy .367 xwOBA on contact.
I think it’s fair to expect the Dodgers to let Kershaw work deep into this game if he can, given they want him to be tuned up for the postseason. With that said, wins are at a premium and Dave Roberts could decide to pull the plug early for damage control purposes. It’s a catch-22, but if I had to wager on one
I’d say the Dodgers probably let Kershaw cook given they know they’re in the playoffs already.
The Dodgers have been tearing the cover off the ball over the last week with the league’s highest OPS, and it’s hard not to back them in a must-win game, even against a left-hander. Furthermore, it’s hard not to believe in Kershaw turning it around against an uninspired offense.
I like the Dodgers to be leading after five innings here behind a strong showing from the tall lefty.
Pick: Dodgers First 5 Innings -1 (-105)