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MLB Odds & Picks for Cardinals vs. Brewers: How to Bet This NL Central Clash

MLB Odds & Picks for Cardinals vs. Brewers: How to Bet This NL Central Clash article feature image
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Via Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Tommy Edman.

  • The Brewers are short home underdogs against the Cardinals on Tuesday night.
  • With both pitchers having major question marks, is there better value on a side or total bet here?
  • Charlie DiSturco breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Cardinals vs. Brewers Odds

Cardinals Odds -132
Brewers Odds +112
Over/Under 9
Time 8:10 p.m. ET
TV FS1
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The Milwaukee Brewers opened up their four-game series against division rival St. Louis Cardinals with a 2-0 win behind Corbin Burnes on Monday night, winning their fourth straight.

They’ll look to continue to roll behind Chi Chi Gonzalez, who is set to make his Brewers debut for the injured Aaron Ashby. The Cardinals will look to bounce back behind Jack Flaherty.

Will the offenses strike early against two struggling pitchers, or will Tuesday night be yet another pitching duel like the series opener?

Can Flaherty Give the Cardinals a Strong Start?

Flaherty returned from the 60-day Injured List last week to make his 2022 debut, giving up four runs — two earned — over three innings against the Pirates.

The right-hander (shoulder inflammation) is still in the midst of being stretched back out, as the Cardinals opted for him to return early on a pitch count rather than rehab more in the minors. He will be on a 75-pitch count on Tuesday.

Ever since 2019, Flaherty has not graded out well according to advanced metrics. Last season, despite a 3.22 ERA, his xERA sat over a run and a half higher at 4.89.

His Barrel Rate sat around double digits and opponents had a .245 xBA and .457 xSLG against the right-hander. By most metrics, he ranked below average across MLB.

As expected while working his way back to full health, Flaherty’s velocity is down a tick in 2022. His fastball sat around 92 mph in his season debut, down nearly a mile and a half per hour from 2021.

Flaherty throws his fastball about half the time and relies on his slider and curveball as secondary pitches.

With Flaherty likely not lasting more than four or five innings on Tuesday night, the Cardinals bullpen will be asked to take on a heavier workload. St. Louis ranks around the middle of the pack in bullpen ERA (3.85).

Every reliever should be available on Tuesday night, as no one pitched in both of the previous two games.

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Gonzalez Filling in for the Brewers

Gonzalez was claimed off waivers and will make a spot start for the Brewers on Tuesday night in place of Aaron Ashby.

Prior to joining the Brewers, the 30-year-old made two starts for the Twins. He gave up six runs over seven combined innings.

Gonzalez has been one of the worst pitchers in baseball over the last few seasons. In 2021, his xERA (6.81), xBA (.314) and xSLG (.542) all sat in the bottom one percent of pitchers.

In two starts this season, not much has changed. While his xERA sits at 4.83, his xBA is a whopping .319. Opponents are still hitting Gonzalez hard, a bad recipe for someone who pitches to contact.

Even in a year where offense is down, I don’t expect Gonzalez to find much success. He’ll also have a short leash — like he did in Minnesota — considering the trouble he often finds himself in.

Offensively, the Brewers hit right-handed pitching harder than southpaws. They rank 10th in wOBA and fifth in ISO.

While the pitching staff has been decimated by injury, the Brewers offense is pretty much back to full health. Only Kolten Wong (calf) remains on the injured list (against his former team) when it comes to everyday starters.

Cardinals-Brewers Pick

It’s Chi Chi Gonzalez day, and, like his previous two starts — where the over cleared easily — I expect runs to be plentiful on Tuesday night.

Gonzalez continues to be hit hard, and I don’t see anything changing against St. Louis. As mentioned earlier, he pitches to contact, and his .319 xBA is concerning, especially against a Cardinals offense that doesn’t strikeout.

On the other side, I’m not sure Flaherty will be effective. He’s struggled over the last few seasons and is still working his way back to full health. While Flaherty is better than Gonzalez, I expect the Brewers to work the 26-year-old hard and keep this game within striking distance throughout.

While I don’t particularly like a side in this matchup because of the inconsistencies of both pitchers over the last few seasons, I do like the over on Tuesday night.

Back the ball to be flying around American Family Field on Tuesday night in a high-scouring NL Central bout.

Pick: Over 9 (-114) | bet to (-125)

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