Wednesday MLB Playoff Odds, Picks & Predictions: Brewers vs. Dodgers Game 1 (Sept. 30)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images. Pictured: Cody Bellinger and A.J. Pollock
- The Los Angeles Dodgers finally open MLB postseason play in an interesting draw with the Milwaukee Brewers.
- The Dodgers have been on a tear for most of the season, but Milwaukee is hoping these clubs' lack of familiarity will work in the Brewers' favor.
- Mike Vitanza breaks down Wednesday night's postseason match and makes his pick for Brewers vs. Dodgers, Game 1.
Brewers vs. Dodgers Game 1 Odds
|Brewers Odds||+210 [Bet Now]|
|Dodgers Odds||-250 [Bet Now]|
|Over/Under||7.5 (-117/-105) [Bet Now]|
|First Pitch||10:08 p.m. ET|
The Los Angeles Dodgers (43-17) enter the National League Wild Card round of Major League Baseball’s postseason as the top overall seed. They face the Milwaukee Brewers (29-31), a team whom they did not face at all during the regular season.
The Dodgers finished the regular season strong, winning eight of their final 10 games en route to the best record in baseball. The offense was dynamic during that time, averaging 7.0 runs per game down the stretch.
The Brewers finished the season under .500, but they did just enough to squeak into the National League playoffs as the eighth and final seed. They finished the season 5-5, but their offense was anemic. During that span, they averaged just 2.8 runs per game.
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.
The Brewers will start the Wild Card round with a bullpen game. The opener, Brent Suter, was effective over 31.2 innings this season, collecting a 3.00 FIP and striking out batters at a 10.8 K/9 clip. He was also effective at limiting the long ball, allowing just 1.14 HR/9. He went four innings in his last start, but that will likely be his limit before they turn the game over to the bullpen.
The Brewers bullpen was effective during the regular season. Collectively, they pitched to a 3.93 FIP, struck out batters at a 12.0 K/9 clip and finished with 2.8 WAR (seventh best in all of baseball).
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers will turn to Walker Buehler for Game 1. Buehler’s season numbers are solid (4.36 FIP, 10.3 K/9), but he’s pitched just four total innings in the past month after returning from a blister injury. He’ll be pitching on standard rest and was effective his last time out, collecting six strikeouts and allowing just one hit and no earned runs over four innings.
It’s unclear how much further than that the Dodgers coaching staff will push him, so like with the Brewers, this game will come down to the bullpen.
The Dodgers had one of the best bullpens in baseball during the regular season. Their 3.45 FIP ranks second to only to the Cleveland Indians and their 3.5 WAR are second to just the Tampa Bay Rays and Minnesota Twins (both tied at 3.6). They were particularly good at limiting the long ball, allowing just 0.82 HR/9 ins 262.1 total innings.
How I’m Betting Dodgers-Brewers
The Dodgers will have the advantage in all aspects of this game. Their pitching prowess was highlighted above, but their offense is really where they shined during the regular season. Overall, they ranked second in baseball with .355 team wOBA and first overall with a .227 ISO. They also led all of baseball with 118 home runs, 349 runs scored and 122 wRC+.
At -236, the money line is unappealing, and I don’t see much value where it stands. The total, however, is intriguing. There was a steam move this morning that moved the line up from 7.5 to 8 on most books, indicating sharp money heading in that direction. The Dodgers offense has been firing on all cylinders, averaging 7.0 runs per game over their last ten games.
The Brewers pitching staff was formidable, but the Dodgers have the ability to dominate any level of competition. They should be able to cover most – if not all – of this total on their own.
Head over to DraftKings or FanDuel to grab it while it’s still at 7.5 on those sites, but I’m also comfortable playing this total at over 8 runs as well.
The Pick: Over 7.5 (play up to 8)