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MLB Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers (Sunday, Sept. 13)

MLB Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers (Sunday, Sept. 13) article feature image

Duane Burleson/Getty Images. Pictured: Chicago Cubs pitcher Alec Mills.

  • The Cubs and Brewers square off in a rubber match Sunday with Major League Baseball playoff implications on the line.
  • For Brad Cunningham, the pick depends on the price.
  • Check out Cunningham's full preview and analysis with updated odds below.

Cubs vs. Brewers Odds

Cubs Odds +112 [Bet Now]
Brewers Odds -130 [Bet Now]
Over/Under 9.5 (-110/-110) [Bet Now]
First Pitch Sunday, 2:10 p.m. ET

Odds as of Sunday at 12:30 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 Alec Mills to the mound to take on Adrian Houser and the Brewers.

Milwaukee is two games 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 have been solid versus right-handed pitching so far this season, checking in with a .324 wOBA and 100 wRC+. Even though the Cubs bats have been quiet as of late, I think they’ll be able to get to Houser. 

Cubs Probable Starter

Alec Mills, RHP

Projected & Actual Stats (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Mills has been fine through his first eight starts of 2020. He’s primarily a fastball-sinker pitcher, but neither pitch has been particularly effective this year, allowing a .272 batting average to opposing hitters. Luckily for Mills, the Brewers have been the terrible against fastballs and sinkers this season.

Mills has been excelling with his secondary pitches and really should utilize them more often. His changeup, curveball and slider are allowing under a .167 average to opposing hitters this season. The Brewers have struggled against those three pitches as well, so Mills has a fantastic matchup on Sunday.

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

Adrian Houser, RHP

Projected & Actual Stats (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Houser is due for some positive regression. His ERA is 5.48, but his xFIP is all the way down at 3.85. If he cant improve his WHIP (1.45), he should see the rest of his number start trending in the right direction.

Houser is primarily a sinker ball pitcher and he’s been pretty effective with it so far this year. He’s allowing only a .285 wOBA to opponents and is producing a 62.9% ground ball rate, which is one of the highest in MLB. His secondary pitches haven’t been effective at all this season, so I would expect him to feature his sinker a lot of Sunday. Especially since the the Cubs have struggled versus sinkers this year.


The Cubs made a couple moves at the deadline to acquire left-handed relievers to improve their bullpen. Chicago has one of the best bullpens in baseball, ranking fifth in terms of xFIP. Milwaukee counters with the best bullpens in baseball ranking first in MLB in terms of xFIP.

Projections and Pick

At the time of writing this, I don’t think there is much value on either side or the total. If would find the Cubs at +118 or better I would bet them. Conversely, if I could find the Brewers at +105 or better I would play them.

Pick: Cubs +118 or better/Brewers +105 or better

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