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Dodgers vs. Brewers MLB Odds & Picks: Why Trevor Bauer & L.A. Have Value (Thursday, April 29)

Dodgers vs. Brewers MLB Odds & Picks: Why Trevor Bauer & L.A. Have Value (Thursday, April 29) article feature image

Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images. Pictured: Trevor Bauer.

  • Milwaukee and Los Angeles have both been riddled with injuries, but both teams sit atop their respective divisions.
  • Trevor Bauer gets the start for L.A., facing off against Eric Lauer of the Brewers.
  • See how Jeff Hicks is betting the Dodgers in order to get the most value.

Dodgers vs. Brewers Odds

Dodgers Odds -194
Brewers Odds +162
Over/Under 7.5
Time 7:40 p.m. ET
Odds as of Wednesday and via FanDuel.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are one of the most complete teams in baseball and have handled early-season injuries by plucking players from their organizational depth. The Milwaukee Brewers have struggled to field a complete team one month into the season and have wasted the efforts of one of the best pitching staffs in the league.

That is what will more than likely be the difference as these two teams face off for the first of four games in Milwaukee.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Trevor Bauer has been as advertised as long as he pitches with both eyes open. His peripherals have not been much different than his 2020 Cy Young campaign, but he has allowed more flyballs to leave the park, and he is flirting with regression (.150 BABIP).  Good thing the Brewers are one of the worst offenses in baseball (26th in Offensive WAR).

The Dodgers pitching staff has pitched well enough to allow their reliever compadres to be limited to 72 1/3 innings pitched. That is the second-lowest total if you exclude the Nationals, Phillies and Mets (COVID postponements).

Everything has not been rosy for the World Series champs. Injuries to Cody Bellinger and Gavin Lux, as well as the continued decline of Kenley Jansen has led to a few more losses than expected. Those concerns have been handled admirably by Chris Taylor, Zack McKinstry (now hurt himself) and a stable of former closers to keep Jansen’s workload down. Despite the in-season concerns, Los Angeles is top five in Batting and Pitching WAR, as well as Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+).

The depth of the Dodgers lineup is difficult to manage and slow down on a nightly basis, but Milwaukee has an opportunity to do so.

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Milwaukee Brewers

Eric Lauer gets the start for Milwaukee, and let’s just say he has not been one of the reasons the Brewers have a top-10 Pitching WAR. The 25-year old has more walks than strikeouts in one start and one appearance for the Brew Crew in 2021. That could be an issue considering the Dodgers lead the majors in walk rate (11.9%).

The Brewers have also had issues sustaining the success of the starting rotation, logging the fifth-worst reliever WAR. Unless Lauer is uber-efficient against one of the best offenses in baseball, this could be an ugly outcome with little to slow L.A. from a blowout. I also cannot forget to mention that the Dodgers have the fifth-best wRC+ against righties on the road.

Good thing the Brewers have an offense to back up their pitching staff.

Checks notes, stops, flips through notes again

That’s not good.

Milwaukee is 26th in Offensive WAR, strikes out 28.3% of the time, and has reasonable BABIP, so their offensive outage is more on them and not bad luck.

The Brewers are also without Christian Yelich’s bat in the lineup, but one bat would not reverse their fortunes.

Milwaukee’s defense is elite, so there’s that. Their 14.2 Defensive WAR is the best in baseball and one of the reasons the Brewers can slow down teams despite not being able to pass them on the scoreboard.

Dodgers-Brewers Pick

There was digital ink spilled on Freddy Peralta potentially starting, but with Lauer toeing the rubber, this game is tough to bet on the Brewers side. There is also a lot of juice on the Dodgers, and rightfully so. I like L.A. to win, but I want to bet in a way that has less juice and is realistic. Dodgers Run Line is the way to go.

Pick: Dodgers -1.5 Runs (Up to -130)

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