Thursday MLB Betting Odds & Picks for Cardinals vs. Brewers: A True Ace Pitchers’ Duel (May 13)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images. Pictured: Andrew Knizner and Jack Flaherty.
- The finale of the Cardinals-Brewers series in Milwaukee will give us one of our best pitching matchups of the season.
- Jack Flaherty will take the mound against Corbin Burnes, who is returning from a stint on the COVID-19 Injury List (IL).
- How should you bet this one? Jeff Hicks breaks it down below.
Cardinals vs. Brewers Odds
|Time||1:40 p.m. ET|
|Odds updated Thursday at 11:30 a.m. ET and via PointsBet.|
Two below-average offense finish their series with their aces coming into 2021 taking the mound. Jack Flaherty and Corbin Burnes have been integral pieces in their teams’ pitching rotations and will look to pad their individual stats with a team win in mind.
St. Louis and Milwaukee should not be as bad on offense as they are, but the two teams cannot field a combined starting eight of batters hitting over .250. The team that takes advantage of the minimum mistakes offered by Flaherty and Burnes will determine the game.
St. Louis Cardinals
Milwaukee is sixth in Pitcher WAR and faces a Cardinals offense struggling to maintain its top-20 Offensive WAR standing. If not for the resurgence of Tommy Edman and Paul Goldschmidt the last few weeks, the offense would be as bad as Milwaukee’s. That is not a slight against Dylan Carlson or Nolan Arenado, integral and productive batters for St. Louis.
Jack Flaherty has pitched like an ace for majority of 2021. He has seen some luck (.240 BABIP) considering the spike in Barrels and hard contact Flaherty has allowed. His Barrel Percentage (Barrel%) is down 0.4% from 2020, but that is with only five more hitting events occurring.
Flaherty’s Hard Hit Rate (Hard%) is concerning. It is up 9.7% to 41.1% and his strikeout rate is down 3%. I would also like to see Flaherty average six-plus innings per start, a subjective benchmark sure, but one expected from an ace.
This should not be a concern against the Brewers’ offense, but baseball is weird and a blow-up spot is in play.
The Brewers entered Wednesday with a -29.5 Offensive WAR and a 65 wRC+ at home against right-handed pitching. Four players have an OPS+ of 100 or better for the Brew Crew (min. 60 AB) and one of them is playing because of the injuries to Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich. Another, Omar Narvaez, is on the 10-day IL.
The only things to hang your hat on for this offense is the hopeful return to health for Yelich and a bounce back in the team’s BABIP (23rd in MLB).
Here is an evergreen statement for 2021: The Milwaukee Brewers will lean on their starter to hopefully propel the team to victory. Burnes has been one of the best pitching stories of 2021 prior to his positive COVID test. This will be his first start since April 26.
Is there cause for concern after the layoff and unknown symptoms Burnes had with the virus? Of course. Can the Cardinals take advantage of his time off? Sure. Do I think they will? Not really. Burnes’ first-pitch strike percentage is up 16.5% from 2020, and he has lowered his contact rate on pitches inside the strike zone by 7% while increasing pitches thrown in the zone by nearly 8%.
Burnes has added velocity to his four-seam fastball, slider, cutter and changeup (four of his five pitches). It is safe to say Burnes has figured something out from last season and may be on the verge of being a consistently dominant pitcher.
That is #NotGreat for the Cardinals offense.
This is a must-watch game as the NL Central continues to be a jumbled mess. Flaherty and Burnes will keep this game close after a quick turnaround from a night game.
Getting seven runs on PointsBet without the hook is not ideal, but the under was the first spot my eyes lit up on. Not only will both teams have the quick turnaround, but I doubt every regular player suits up on getaway day. Both managers can make their offenses weaker.
Pick: Under 7 Runs (-118, bet to -130 and target 6.5-7.5 runs where applicable)