Wednesday MLB Odds, Picks & Predictions for Cubs vs. Brewers: Bet on Dominant Starting Pitching Performances (July 6)
Joe Sargent/Getty Images. Pictured: Corbin Burnes.
- The Milwaukee Brewers take on the Chicago Cubs in an NL Central showdown on Wednesday afternoon.
- The Brewers send 2021 NL Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes to the mound, while the Cubs counter with Adrian Sampson.
- Check out Doug Ziefel's full betting guide for Wednesday's afternoon affair below.
Cubs vs. Brewers Odds
|Over/Under||7.5 (-110 / -110)|
|Time||2:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The Cubs’ bats were once again dormant through the first few innings of last night’s game, but then they erupted in the fourth.
Chicago put up three runs in the fourth with the help of a Seiya Suzuki homer, then tacked on four more runs in the fifth and never looked back.
However, this afternoon’s matchup has the potential to be a pitcher’s duel. Brewers ace Corbin Burnes is set to take the ball and continue his dominant season. He enters this start with a 2.36 ERA and a WHIP of 0.92. For reference, those two numbers are better than last season, when Burnes took home the NL Cy Young.
As for Chicago, right-hander Adrian Sampson will be called upon to make another start, filling the hole left by Marcus Stroman in the Cubs’ rotation. To this point, he’s done everything asked of him. He’s gone at least five innings in every start and has allowed more than two runs in just one start.
With the total rising from open, the market seems to expect another matchup like last night. But I’m here to tell you why the first half of it will be very different.
Expect Burnes to Dominate Cubs Again
This will be the third time Burnes, the defending NL Cy Young winner, will face the Cubs this season. While they say that the third time is the charm, Chicago already used that up earlier this year.
Burnes first got the ball on Opening Day in Chicago. It was a cold game, and Burnes uncharacteristically struggled with his command, walking three and allowing three runs.
He then responded on May 1 with seven innings of two-run ball and racked up 10 punchouts in the process. Yet, surprisingly, he lost that game. So if this third meeting is anyone’s charm, it’s Burnes’.
Old adages aside, Burnes has been every bit as dominant as he was last year. His stuff is untouchable, as he ranks in the top 8% of the majors in strikeout, whiff and chase rates. Those numbers are all due to his bread-and-butter cutter, one of the best single pitches in baseball.
He throws it 57% of the time, and opposing hitters still can’t touch it. His cutter has a 31.6% whiff rate and a 24.6% putaway percentage. The reason is the elite spin and movement on it. The spin rate is in the top one percentile of all qualified pitchers. It’s fewer than 200 RPMs less than his breaking pitches. We’ll see him use it in a variety of ways to hitters on both sides of the plate.
Take a minute and enjoy the video below of the best pitch in baseball:
Corbin Burnes struck out 117 batters with his cutter in the 2021 regular season, so here are all 117 of his cutter strikeouts, as a treat. pic.twitter.com/VZRqSbrQzO
— Cut4 (@Cut4) November 18, 2021
When it’s all said and done, expect Burnes to take this rubber match, as he’s only getting sharper. The Cubs offense won’t make lighting strike three times.
Look For Sampson to Work Quickly Through Brewers
Much like his counterpart in this one, Sampson will also utilize his fastball variations against hitters. Sampson’s mission is to produce soft contact and ground balls by using his sinker and slider, but we will also see plenty of four-seamers as well.
His results thus far look typical for any sinkerballer. His hard-hit rate is up, but his average exit velocity allowed is fine, and his barrel percentage is elite.
Not only are his quality of contact metrics solid, but so are the actual outcomes of the contact. Sampson has a 45% ground-ball rate and 18.8% line-drive rate. Both are the lowest of his career.
When you look at the Brewers’ lineup, few threats are posed. Only three hitters — Rowdy Tellez, Christian Yelich and Willy Adames, own above-average exit velocities and hard-hit rates. However, both Yelich and Adames have plenty of swing-and-miss in their game as well.
Aside from Tellez, this is a great lineup for Sampson to attack. The Brewers, as a whole, fit right into his game with the 16th-highest ground-ball rate and the third-worst line-drive rate in the majors.
I expect Sampson to give the Cubs five quality innings.
With Sampson capped around five innings for this start, that makes this handicap very easy to see.
Burnes has been every bit as good, if not better, than he was last season, and Sampson has proven to generate outs with his diverse arsenal.
So, that’s why the best way to play this matchup is to bet the final five under.
Pick: F5 Under 4.5