MLB Odds, Picks, Prediction: Giants vs. Brewers Betting Preview (Friday, August 6)
John Fisher/Getty Images. Pictured: Corbin Burnes.
- Two National League division leaders open a three-game series on Friday night in Milwaukee.
- Logan Webb will toe the rubber opposite the Brewers' Corbin Burnes, who is in the running for the NL Cy Young Award.
- Michael Arinze breaks down the betting value in this matchup, delivering his pick for the game below.
Giants vs. Brewers Odds
|Time||Friday, 7:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Friday and via DraftKings|
The San Francisco Giants head to Milwaukee to take on the Brewers in what could be a preview of a postseason matchup. Both teams lead their National League divisions, but San Francisco holds a four-game lead in the race for home-field advantage throughout the NL portion of the postseason.
San Francisco comes into the game on a two-game winning streak, including seven wins in its last ten ballgames. The Giants will turn to Logan Webb on the mound to keep that run alive, while Corbin Burnes will oppose him for Milwaukee.
This should be a competitive game between two high-quality teams, but the odds are more tilted in favor of the Brewers at home.
I'll take you through this matchup and assess whether Milwaukee is overvalued at -150.
Webb Showing Great Improvement in 2021
At 24 years old, Webb has improved immensely in just his third year in the majors. Last year, he made 13 appearances (11 starts) and finished 3-4 with a 5.47 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP. This year, he's 5-3 and down to a 3.33 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. His advanced numbers are also promising, considering his 3.59 xERA and 3.34 FIP.
Many of Webb's numbers are trending up across the board. Since last year, he's increased his K/9 ratio from 7.62 to 9.0 while reducing his walk rate from 3.98 to 2.84 BB/9. He's also a tremendous ground-ball pitcher with a 3.33 GB/FB rate in 73 innings of work. When you factor that in with his ability to strike hitters out and limit walks, it should be clear that there's nothing fluky about his performance this season.
Another positive in Webb's game is his ability to get ahead of hitters by throwing first-pitch strikes 62.4% of the time. Oftentimes, he's doing this with his sinker, which has a usage rate of 33.4%. That then sets up his wipeout slider (26.1% usage) with a 45% whiff rate and a 30.6% put-away rate. Per Baseball Savant, he also mixes in a changeup (26.5% usage) to keep batters even more off-balance.
I'm a big proponent of his pitching style, especially how he varies his velocity. His sinker (92.6 mph) is about 7 mph faster than his changeup (85.8 mph) and 10 mph faster than his slider (mph).
That variation of speeds is just the right balance to keep hitters guessing at the place.
Burnes Looks to Continue Stellar Season
It has been a breakout year for Burnes, who was named to his first All-Star team in his fourth season in the majors. He's carried impressive numbers from last year into this season with a 6-4 record, 2.46 ERA and 0.97 WHIP.
As good as his performance has been, his advanced numbers have been even better, as evidenced by a 1.89 xERA and 1.49 FIP. His strikeout numbers (12.91 K/9) and walks (1.70 BB/9) allowed are both elite, and good luck trying to hit the ball out of the park against him as his 0.34 HR/9 is also outstanding. In fact, opposing hitters are only barreling him up 2.9% of the time.
This will be Burnes' first start against the Giants, but he does have seven relief appearances against them. In those outings, he's 1-1 with a 10.80 ERA. The right-hander is also coming off a rough outing against the Braves, where he allowed five runs on nine hits in four innings. Milwaukee did manage to win the game despite trailing 4-0 after the first inning.
I think the Braves and Giants have similar profiles but frankly, San Francisco is a better offensive team as it leads the National League with 164 home runs, a .192 ISO, and it's second with a wRC+ value of 107.
Burnes will likely continue to feature his cutter, which he throws 52.4% of the time. FanGraphs rates him at 16.9 runs above average when throwing the pitch. However, the Giants are also pretty adept in their own right as they're 6.3 runs above average against the cutter. In fact, San Francisco is above average against three of the most used pitches (cutter, curveball-15.6%, sinker-10.3%) in Burnes' arsenal.
That gives me enough reason to question whether this game is as straightforward as the current line would suggest.
I ran this matchup through my model, and my numbers are right in line with the market. I make Milwaukee a -150 favorite and San Francisco a +135 underdog. Earlier in the day, the Giants were actually as high as +140 at DraftKings.
I've noticed that the range is a bit tighter on San Francisco from +125 to +132, whereas Milwaukee is available anywhere from -145 to -162. As a team with the best record in the National League, San Francisco deserves to get a bit more respect in this spot.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Milwaukee is 0-3 (-4.35 units) when it's less than a 2-to-1 favorite, and Burnes is coming off a start where he allowed eight or more hits.
- With a two-game winning streak, the Giants are 9-3 in their last 12 games and up 5.77 units.
- Lastly, the Giants are +11.48 units as a +130 underdog or higher this season.
This leads me to believe there is sufficient value on the road dogs in this spot, and I'll grab the +132 over at DraftKings.
Pick: Giants ML (+130)