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MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Brewers vs. Royals: Does Milwaukee Have Value with Corbin Burnes? (May 19)

MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Brewers vs. Royals: Does Milwaukee Have Value with Corbin Burnes? (May 19) article feature image

Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images. Pictured: Christian Yelich #22 of the Milwaukee Brewers.

  • The Royals and Brewers meet on Wednesday evening (8:10 p.m. ET on MLB.TV) in a battle between two teams each attempting to catch some momentum.
  • Kansas City has finally stabilized following an 11-game winless downward spiral, but Brewers ace Corbin Burnes is an altogether different challenge.
  • Below, find Kenny Ducey's MLB betting guide for Brewers vs. Royals game, complete with updated odds, picks and predictions for Wednesday's game.

Brewers vs. Royals Odds

Brewers Odds -178
Royals Odds +150
Over/Under 7.5 (-104 / -118)
Time 8:10 p.m. ET
Odds as of Wednesday afternoon and via FanDuel.

A slumping offense meets the best pitcher in baseball in Kansas City tonight as the Royals try to keep moving in the right direction against the Brewers. Milwaukee’s offense has struggled in its own right, but given Christian Yelich’s return from injury among other positive indicators, there is value in betting on the Brewers’ continued improvement — particularly against a bad pitcher.

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Milwaukee Brewers

It’s Corbin Burnes Day, which admittedly has lost some of its luster following a pair of outings where the right-hander appeared human. In Burnes’ previous two starts, he has allowed a combined total of 13 hits and five earned runs. He only conceded eight total hits and one earned run in his four previous starts combined.

Nonetheless, Corbin Burnes Day is still an occasion that should have you excited. With Jacob deGrom on the shelf, Burnes is the de facto best pitcher in baseball. Burnes has posted an insane 45.3% strikeout rate in six starts to go along with a minuscule 24.2% hard-hit rate, which ranks in the top 4% of the league. His .144 expected batting average is also elite — as is the fact that he’s walked just one batter all year.

It’s probably not worth discussing whether or not Burnes is going to shove, because that is a virtual certainty — especially against a team that has struggled at the plate.

Instead, let’s examine this Milwaukee lineup, which is third-worst in the league with an 81 wRC+.

Christian Yelich is back, and just based off of the names in Milwaukee’s batting order, one would expect much better than an 81 wRC+. Well, over the past week the Brewers have ranked 14th in contact rate, a category which they have struggled all season long, sitting in the bottom six in the league. Milwaukee also boasts the 10th-best barrel rate over the past week at nearly 10%.

Those are certainly some encouraging signs, and the reintroduction of Yelich inspires optimism that those positive signals may be brought to life in the form of runs.

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Kansas City Royals

The Royals have exited an 11-game losing streak to win three out of five, though none of those victories has featured a convincing performance at the plate. Kansas City has posted just a 72 wRC+ over the past two weeks, the fourth-worst mark in baseball, and owns the worst Isolated Power (.093) in MLB over that span.

Like the Brewers, the Royals have made hard contact at a decent rate. Though, unlike their opponent, the Royals rank in the bottom third of MLB in contact rate, so that hasn’t had a chance to prove valuable.

Today’s starter, Brad Keller, he has been pretty bad. In fact, he might be the complete opposite of Corbin Burnes, ranking in the bottom 2% of the league in expected ERA and expected wOBA. Furthermore, Keller’s 47.1% hard-hit rate is among the bottom 10% of all pitchers.

However, in fairness, Keller did have back-to-back encouraging starts against the White Sox, allowing five runs on 10 hits in eleven innings and striking out 13 batters in the process. Walks were an issue in those starts, as was the fact that he allowed a whopping 18 hard-hit balls. Perhaps he pitched a bit worse than those numbers would indicate.

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Brewers-Royals Pick

The Brewers offense has done more lately than the Royals. Now, Milwaukee draws a matchup with a pitcher in Brad Keller that has relied on his fastball around 40% of the time. Say what you will about Milwaukee’s offense, but the one thing that it has been able to do is hit the fastball, ranking 12th in run value against the pitch.

In games like this, when you have such a dominant arm going against such a weak offense, all you need is a few runs to get the job done. That’s what we should get out of this a decent Brewers offense against an exit-velocity machine in Keller. I like the first five innings spread as a way to capitalize on this mismatch.

Pick: Brewers First Five -0.5 (-122)

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