Brewers vs. Cardinals Odds & Pick: Back Corbin Burnes to Keep Milwaukee’s Playoff Hopes Alive

Brewers vs. Cardinals Odds & Pick: Back Corbin Burnes to Keep Milwaukee’s Playoff Hopes Alive article feature image
Credit:

Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Corbin Burnes

  • Corbin Burnes and Kwang-hyun Kim square off in a pitchers duel with a playoff spot on the line.
  • BJ Cunningham previews Thursday night's showdown between the Brewers and Cardinals.
  • Find out why he thinks Milwaukee and the under are priced too low.

Brewers vs. Cardinals Odds

Brewers Odds
-122 [BET NOW]
Cardinals Odds
+105 [BET NOW]
Over/Under
7.5 (-107-114) [BET NOW]
First Pitch
8:15 p.m. ET

Odds as of early Thursday 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.


This series between the Brewers and Cardinals is to decide which team goes to the playoffs.

Milwaukee trails St. Louis by two games for the fifth seed in the National League and also trails San Francisco by two games for the eighth seed. This is a five-game series, so if the Brewers can take four of five, they’ll be in the playoffs.

It all starts on Thursday night as they send their ace Corbin Burnes to the mound to hopefully start the series off with a win.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers lineup has been below-average all season, but is starting to heat up.

Over the past 14 games, Milwaukee has smacked 23 homers and accumulated a .339 wOBA and 110 wRC+. Ryan Braun and Daniel Vogelbach have the led the Brewers offensively over the past two weeks, as both have a wOBA over .450 in their last 12 games.

Most of the Brewers’ struggles this season have come against righties, but they’ve been crushing left-handed pitching, checking in with a .340 wOBA and 111 wRC+ — sixth in MLB.

They should have a good matchup against Cardinals’ lefty Kwang-hyun Kim on Thursday night.


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.


Brewers Probable Starter 

Corbin Burnes, RHP

Projected & Actual Stats (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Corbin Burnes should be receiving a few Cy Young votes as one of the best pitchers in baseball this year.

He’s been completely un-hittable, posting a 1.77 ERA and 2.89 xFIP in 2020. He’s also been a strikeout machine, racking up a crazy 13.34 K/9, which ranks third in MLB behind only Shane Bieber and Jacob deGrom.

The reason Burnes has been so effective is his secondary pitches — all four collectively are allowing a .120 average to opponents, along with each of them producing a whiff rate better than 30%. The Cardinals have struggled against all offspeed pitches this season, so Burnes will have a fantastic matchup to keep the Brewers’ playoff hopes alive.

St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis’ offense has been right around average all season, but has cooled off as of late.

Over their last 17 games, the Cardinals offense has accumulated only a .290 wOBA and 82 wRC+, which ranks near the bottom of MLB over that span. The reason for those struggles are because of their inability to hit fastballs/sinkers (-5.5 weighted fastball/sinker runs) and changeups (-5.9 weighted changeup runs).

Things wont get any easier against Corbin Burnes, who has been on point with his changeup — he’s allowed only three hits off it this season.

The Cardinals also rank in the bottom half of MLB against right-handed pitching, so they’ll have a tough matchup against one of the best pitchers in baseball on Thursday night.

Cardinals Probable Starter

Kwang-hyun Kim, LHP

Projected & Actual Stats (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Kwang-hyun Kim has been fantastic surprise for the Cardinals after coming over from the KBO. He’s posted some really good numbers in 2020, including a 1.59 ERA and 0.97 WHIP. However, he’s been a tad fortunate to this point in the season, as his xFIP is all the way up at 4.52.

Kim is mainly uses a fastball/slider combination, and so far its held opposing hitters at bay. Both pitches have combined to allow only a .183 average to opponents. However, it’s a small sample size, since he’s pitched only 34 innings in the big leagues.

He’ll have a tough matchup against this Brewers lineup that has been hitting lefties well all season long.

Bullpens 

St. Louis’ bullpen has been a bit fortunate this season as it has a 4.03 ERA, but its xFIP is all the way up at 4.83, which ranks 23rd in MLB.

Milwaukee counters with the league’s best bullpen, ranking first in terms of xFIP. Not only do the Brewers have Josh Hader, they now have one of best set up men in baseball in Devin Williams, who has the nastiest changeup in baseball.

Milwaukee should have the advantage in the later innings during this series.

Brewers-Cardinals Projections & Pick

Given how good Corbin Burnes has been this season, Milwaukee’s price is too short.

Additionally, this Brewers offense has drilled lefties this season and has a good matchup against Kim. I also think this will be one of the lowest-scoring games on Thursday, as I only have 6.36 runs projected.

Therefore, I’m going to back both the Brewers at -122 and Under 7.5 runs at -114.

PICKS: Brewers -122 (up to -135); Under 7.5 (-114; up to -123)

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