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Saturday MLB Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers (Sept. 12)

Saturday MLB Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers (Sept. 12) article feature image

Justin Casterline/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Hendricks.

  • The Chicago Cubs take on the Milwaukee Brewers in an NL Central matchup on Saturday.
  • Chicago will send Kyle Hendricks to the mound on Saturday in an obvious mismatch against Milwaukee's Brett Anderson.
  • BJ Cunningham breaks down Cubs vs. Brewers, including odds, analysis and projections for tonight's MLB game.

Cubs vs. Brewers Odds

Cubs Odds -129 [Bet Now]
Brewers Odds +112 [Bet Now]
Over/Under 9 (+103/-120) [Bet Now]
First Pitch Saturday, 7:10 p.m. ET

Odds as of Saturday at 5:15 p.m. ET and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

The Cubs will look to maintain their three-game lead in the NL Central as they send Kyle Hendricks to the mound to take on Brett Anderson and the Brewers.

Milwaukee is one game out of second place in the NL Central, so the Brewers need to go on a run down the stretch in order to secure a postseason berth.

Advanced Stats Glossary

FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP  is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.

wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.

wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.

BaseRuns is a formula designed to estimate how many runs a team would be expected to score (or allow) given their underlying offensive (or defensive) performance. In other words, BaseRuns is a context-neutral run estimator used to evaluate teams. Major League average for an individual batter per game is 0.50 BaseRuns and a for a pitcher its 0.52 BaseRuns per inning.

Cubs Projected Lineup

Chicago has been average offensively this season, checking in with a .315 wOBA and 94 wRC+. Ian Happ and Jason Heyward have been the Cubs’ best hitters this year, as they are the only two Chicago players with a wOBA over .360.

The Cubs have struggled a bit versus left-handed pitching, reporting a .286 wOBA and 96 wRC+. However, Brett Anderson has struggled mightily this season, so I think Chicago will be able to turn things around offensively tonight. 

Cubs Probable Starter

Kyle Hendricks, RHP

Projected & Actual Stats (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Hendricks is one of the best tacticians in the game. None of his pitches top out over 90 mph, but it doesn’t matter. He’s so good at mixing up his three-pitch combination of sinker/changeup/fastball that batters have struggled to hit him consistently. Hendricks has posted a 3.92 xFIP so far this season, showing that he’s mixing his pitch really well.

Hendricks’ changeup has been really good, allowing only a .257 wOBA to opponents while producing a 30.6% whiff rate. His incredible ability to mix up pitches allows him to be dominant while still throwing at such a low velocity, similar to Greg Maddux. For example, you know Hendricks is on with his pitch sequencing so far this season when his fastball — averaging 87 mph — is generating a 17.9% whiff rate.

The Brewers struggled mightily against changeups and sinkers last year, so look for Hendricks to feature those two pitches a lot tonight.

Brewers Projected Lineup

The Brewers lineup has been below average all season, but has improved as of late behind a 19-run outburst in Detroit on Wednesday. Over the past two weeks the Brewers have accumulated a .359 wOBA and 121 wRC+.

Most of the Brewers’ struggles this season have come against righties, as they only have a .296 wOBA and 80 wRC+, each of which ranks 28th in MLB. They’ll have a tough matchup against Hendricks, who is one of the best right-handers in the NL Central.

Brewers Probable Starter

Brett Anderson, LHP

Projected & Actual Stats (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Brett Anderson’s age is starting to show. So far, he’s posted some of the worst numbers of his career, including a 4.54 xFIP.

His sinker has been the biggest problem as he’s allowing a .320 average and .381 wOBA to opponents this season. Anderson has been pretty effective at producing ground balls (61.6%), but that hasn’t translated to much success. So, I think the Cubs should have no issues against him tonight.

Projections and Pick

Check out our new MLB PRO Report, where we highlight factors that provide betting edges — like large wagers, historically profitable betting systems, model projections and expert picks — that when combined with sharp money can powerfully detail the smartest bets on a given slate.

The Hendricks vs. Anderson pitching matchup is significantly lopsided in Chicago’s favor. I have the Cubs projected at -190 for the first five innings, so I am going back Hendricks and the Cubs at -150 (BetRivers) and would bet it up to -165.

Pick: Cubs First Five Innings -150

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