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MLB Odds & Betting Picks: Bet Brewers’ Team Total vs. Cubs (Friday, Sept. 11)

MLB Odds & Betting Picks: Bet Brewers’ Team Total vs. Cubs (Friday, Sept. 11) article feature image

Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Jon Lester

  • The Chicago Cubs (+155 ML underdogs) and Milwaukee Brewers (-115 favorites) kick off their three-game series with a Friday evening game at Miller Park.
  • Brad Cunningham gives his full game preview, including where he sees betting value in tonight's matchup.

Cubs vs. Brewers Odds

Cubs Odds +155 [Bet Now]
Brewers Odds -182 [Bet Now]
Over/Under 9 (-113/-108) [Bet Now]
First Pitch 8:10 p.m. ET

Odds as of Friday at 6 p.m. ET and via DraftKings, which is now live in Illinois. 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 2.5-game lead in the NL Central as they send Jon Lester to the mound to take on Brandon Woodruff and the Brewers.

Milwaukee is four games out of the final playoff spot, so they need to go on a run down the stretch if it wants to make the playoffs.

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 Probable Starter

Jon Lester, LHP

Projected & Actual Stats (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Jon Lester’s house of cards has fallen. He started out the season great, but all that has come crashing down to the tune of 24 earned runs and eight homers in his last five starts.

It’s no secret that Lester is starting to fall off a cliff as he gets into his late 30s. He’s posted an xFIP over 4.00 in each of his previous two seasons and this year his xFIP is all the way up at 5.48, which is the highest of his career. With the Brewers red-hot offense coming to town, it could be another short outing for Lester.

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 .376 wOBA and 130 wRC+.

Most of the Brewers’ struggles this season have come against righties, but they’ve been crushing left-handed pitching, checking in with a .358 wOBA and 121 wRC+, which ranks fifth in MLB.

They should have no trouble against Lester, who has been a gas can so far this season.


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.

However, they may be call on earlier than expected in this game, which means some of their weaker relievers may be required to pitch.

Projections and Pick

Milwaukee’s current price is too high for my liking, so instead I am going to look at their team total. Lester has been a disaster his last five starts and the Brewers hit lefties really well.

So, since I have Milwaukee projected for 5.54 runs tonight, I am going to back the Brewers over 4.5 runs at -122 (BetRivers). However, I would only play that number up to -130.

Pick: Brewers Team Total Over 4.5 (-122)

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