Dodgers vs. Brewers MLB Odds & Pick: Back the Under with May and Woodruff Pitching (May 1)
Abbie Parr/Getty Images. Pictured: Dodgers pitcher Dustin May
- Beating the defending champions is no problem for Milwaukee who is already 2-0 in this series.
- Dustin May and Brandon Woodruff face off in what should be the night's best pitching matchup.
- See why Michael Arinze has decided to target the total.
Dodgers vs. Brewers Odds
|Time||Saturday, 7:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Saturday and viaPointsBet|
The Milwaukee Brewers haven’t seemed too bothered against the reigning World Series champion Dodgers in a four-game series. Milwaukee has guaranteed itself at least a split in the series after taking the first two games.
The Brewers have limited the Dodgers to just one run in each game thus far. In fact, Los Angeles is struggling to score runs away from Dodgers Stadium of late. In their last six away games, they’ve managed just 13 runs. That’s roughly 2.17 runs per game over that stretch.
It won’t get any easier on Saturday night when they face another quality pitcher in Brandon Woodruff. Woodruff has only allowed two earned runs in his last four outings.
He’ll be opposed by Los Angeles’s Dustin May, who’s had his share of quality outings this season as well. May has only allowed six runs in his four starts this season.
With these two pitchers on the mound, I expect runs to be at a premium as this game has the makings of another pitchers’ duel at American Family Field.
Los Angeles Dodgers
I have a working theory — the Dodgers are somewhat preoccupied with the San Diego Padres. Los Angeles carried an 11-2 record into their first series with the Padres. They proceeded to win the first two games of the series but allowed four runs in the later innings of the series finale to lose the chance of sweeping their now-sworn rivals.
That loss seemed to have a lingering effect on Los Angeles as they went 1-4 in their next five games. They then lost three out of four against the Padres in the return series at Dodgers Stadium the following weekend.
Los Angeles actually had a chance to split the series but blew a 7-1 lead in the seventh inning to lose the game in the eleventh inning 8-7.
The Dodgers haven’t been the same since that first encounter with the Padres. Since failing to sweep them in the opening series, they’ve won just three times in their last 11 games. And they seem to be struggling on offense, particularly away from home.
They won’t get any sympathy from Milwaukee’s Brandon Woodruff, who quickly has become one of the best pitchers in baseball.
Woodruff is 21-11 in his career with a 3.46 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. This season, he’s 2-0 in five starts with a 1.55 ERA and 0.72 WHIP. His 1.66 FIP is only .11 points higher than his ERA. He’s yet to allow a home run, and his 27.7% of hard contact would be the lowest mark of this career thus far.
The element of surprise should work to his advantage against a Dodgers lineup that has only 11 at-bats against him with no home runs and a .182 batting average.
Milwaukee is 16-10 and leads the NL Central by two games over the St. Louis Cardinals. But as good as the Brewers have been, it’s really been their pitching and not the offense that has carried them.
Milwaukee is sixth in the league with a 3.27 ERA, sixth with a 10.35 K/9 ratio, and seventh with a groundball rate of 46 percent. And when we look at their offense, they’re ranked just 28th with a wRC+ value of 85.
As a team, the Brewers are hitting only .215, which puts them 26th in the league, and they’re ranked 28th with a strikeout rate of 27.2%. None of that sounds entirely promising when facing Dustin May.
Through four starts this season, batters are only hitting .188 against May, and he has a whopping strikeout rate of 37.2%.
One pitch that has really worked out well for May is his cutter which, according to Baseball Savant, has an above-average vertical movement of almost five inches. The cutter is his bread and butter pitch. It has a 56.7% whiff rate, and it’s been used as his putaway pitch 43.8% of the time.
That could spell trouble for a Brewers team that’s ranked 28th in the league against the pitch and 6.6 runs below average. I’d expect May to feature the pitch early and often on Saturday night against the Brewers lineup.
Over the last 14 days, the Dodgers are tied for 28th with a wRC+ value of 74. They have just a .177 AVG / .298 OBP / .295 SLG slash line during that stretch. It’s tough to generate runs when you’re not even getting on base as they’re .42 points below their .340 OBP for the season.
I mentioned earlier how Los Angeles has struggled on the road this season, and we can see that represented in their over-under splits.
The total is actually 10-4 to the under (+5.5 units) with the Dodgers on the road this season. In fact, the total has gone under in their last six road games and eight of their last nine.
After researching, I was surprised to see that Milwaukee has profiled more like an under team over the last few years.
Since the 2017 season, the total is actually +31.76 units to the under in their games.
This season, they’re already off to a 16-9-1 start.
I think that bodes well for this game to stay under the total given the quality pitchers on the mound and the lack of familiarity both lineups will face.
And with DraftKings still hanging a total of 7.5 runs for this game, I’ll move quickly to lock my action in at that price.
Pick: Under 7.5 runs (-121)