MLB Odds, Picks for Dodgers vs. Brewers: Back Milwaukee in First Five Innings (Aug. 16)
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images. Pictured: Trea Turner
- The Brewers are slight favorites at home tonight against the Dodgers.
- Milwaukee has Brandon Woodruff on the mound, while Los Angeles will counter with rookie Ryan Pepiot.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
Dodgers vs. Brewers Odds
|Over/Under||8 (-115 / -105)|
|Time||8:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers continued to roll on Monday night in their series opener with the Milwaukee Brewers, shutting out the home team, 4-0. It’s the Dodgers’ 13th win over the last 14 games, all of which have come covering the run line.
The Brewers, meanwhile, have stumbled in the second half of the year. They’ve fallen out of first place in the NL Central and enter losers in three of their last four.
Looking to change the tide, Milwaukee hands the ball to Brandon Woodruff on Tuesday night. The Dodgers will match with rookie Ryan Pepiot.
Can the Brewers bounce back behind one of their reliable arms, or will the lack of offense burn them once again versus the No. 1 team in MLB?
What Will Dodgers Get Out of Pepiot?
Despite losing Walker Buehler for the season and Clayton Kershaw for the foreseeable future, the Dodgers haven’t missed a beat. Players have stepped up in times of disarray and Pepiot is the next man up.
The rookie right-hander made three starts in May before being sent back down to the minors. He’s made two spot starts since and will likely continue his role as a fill-in as the regular season progresses toward the end.
In his five starts for the Dodgers, Pepiot has a 3.92 ERA and opponents have just a .199 xBA against him. LA is 4-1 in Pepiot’s starts, but his advanced metrics do raise some red flags amid a small sample size of just 20 2/3 innings.
For starters, his walk rate is 16.5%, or 6.53 per nine innings. There’s no denying he has top-tier stuff, but control continues to be a big issue for Pepiot. And unlike in the minors, Pepiot has struggled to keep the ball on the ground.
His ground ball rate is just 22 percent and that’s become an issue with a 9.8% barrel rate. Even in the minors, he had occasional issues with the long ball.
It’s always hard to judge a pitcher on a small sample size, but those have been the glaring problems in the early going for Pepiot. His xFIP also sits at 5.50, showing that he’s been a bit fortunate in those five starts.
He will likely throw five innings at the max on Tuesday night, but the bullpen is well-rested. Despite using some of their top leverage arms Monday night, neither enter pitching on a back-to-back nor are seemingly unavailable.
As for the Dodgers offense, it remains the best in baseball. Unlike the pitching rotation, the lineup is fully healthy. It’s always scary to bet against the best team in baseball — record wise, at least — especially when they rank No. 1 in wRC+ and wOBA, and No. 2 in isolated power against right-handed pitching.
Woodruff Still Solid For Brewers
Woodruff has long been a reliable arm for the Milwaukee Brewers and 2022 is no different.
The right-hander has a 3.52 ERA and his expected indicators actually sit slightly below that mark with his xERA down at 3.31. Woodruff’s strikeout rate hovers around that 30 percent mark and opponents have just a .221 xBA.
His biggest concern is a career-low 7.6 barrel rate against a red-hot Dodgers offense that slugs right-handed pitching, but even then, Woodruff ranks around league average in that category.
Woodruff’s home-road splits are also night and day. In seven starts at American Family Field, he has a 2.38 ERA and a WHIP all the way down at 0.77.
On the road? Those numbers drastically jump up to a 4.47 ERA and 1.45 WHIP.
Tack on the fact that Woodruff has a 2.45 ERA in four starts since the All-Star break and he’s one of the pitchers worth targeting as the regular season runs its course.
And while one may point toward the offensive inefficiencies for Milwaukee as a reason behind their struggles — the storyline that developed last season and has continued into 2022 — they’d be wrong.
Against right-handed pitching, the Brewers rank seventh in wRC+, fourth in wOBA and third in isolated power. They also have a 9.2% walk rate — fifth in MLB — and draw an erratic pitcher against Woodruff on Tuesday night.
As for the bullpen, Milwaukee ranks 10th in xFIP over the last two weeks. Despite trading away Josh Hader, the relievers haven’t missed a beat as Devin Williams has slid into the closer role.
The Brewers’ offense has gone under the radar when it comes to facing right-handed pitching.
They are patient at the plate and wait for the right pitch and that’s the perfect recipe for success against Pepiot, who oftentimes has trouble commanding the zone.
The Brewers won’t swing themselves out of the game and will take walks if Pepiot struggles. And if he’s locating, players like Rowdy Tellez and Hunter Renfroe should be able to make him pay with his near-double-digit barrel rate.
As for the Dodgers’ offense, it’s always scary to fade them against right-handed pitching, but I think Tuesday night is the perfect spot. Brandon Woodruff has been incredible at his home park and has elevated his game in the second half of the season.
Woodruff has also been unlucky with a .299 BABIP — his xBA is all the way down at .221 — and I’d expect him to finish the regular season strong as Milwaukee makes its playoff push.
I prefer not to get the bullpens involved in this one and instead see the biggest edge between Woodruff and Pepiot. I just think there’s too much value to pass on the Brewers over the first half here.
It’s time to hold your nose and fade the Dodgers. Back Woodruff and the Brewers over the first five innings at home on Tuesday night
Pick: Brewers F5 (-128) | Up to (-135)
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