MLB Series Betting- Milwaukee at St. Louis



2009-05-15

The top two teams in the National League Central Division will collide near the shores of the Mississippi River for a weekend series. Milwaukee has been one of the hottest teams in baseball, winning nine of 11 and doing so in impressive fashion. The Brewers have scored 6.8 runs per game, while looking like “Harvey’s Wallbangers” (circa 1982), sending 18 balls over the fence. During this same period, opposing teams have only mustered just over four runs a contest, showing Milwaukee has really been clubbing the competition.

After a 2-4 road trip, St. Louis returns home for an attention-grabbing homestand. They start with Milwaukee, followed by the Cubs and commence interleague action against in- state rival Kansas City. Though seldom mentioned publicly, the Cardinals are one of the teams that do not enjoy the Brewers act. Milwaukee is known in baseball circles as being a bit showier about their actions and reactions. Skipper Tony LaRussa being more old-school in baseball traditions, doesn’t always appreciate some of what they do and over the last couple of years there has been a dust-up or two between these division rivals.

Milwaukee is 11-2 having won three of last four games and sends ace Yovani Gallardo (4-1, 3.09 ERA) up the hill. Gallardo was handed the role of being top pitcher for Milwaukee and has responded. He’s struck-out better than a batter per inning and has 1.80 ERA in last three starts. If he continues to pitch this way, he’ll improve the Brewers 24-7 record with an on base percentage of .375 or better over their last five games.

The Cardinals will look to get Kyle Lohse (3-2, 4.25) back on track after a pair of rugged outings. Lohse was 3-0 with 1.97 ERA in April, but has been bombed in first two starts in May for 13 runs, 16 hits (three home runs) in 10 1/3 innings. The Cardinals are 27-13 vs. a starting pitcher who gives up 5.5 or less hits a start and Lohse has always been an effective pitcher at home against division teams with 37-17 mark (team’s record) during his career.

Sportsbook.com has Milwaukee as -115 road favorites with total of 8.5 and Lohse is 17-6 at home when the money line is +125 to -125 over the last three seasons. (team's record) This being a low scoring affair would not be a surprise, with the Brewers 17-6 UNDER vs. an NL starting pitcher whose ERA is 4.20 to 4.70 and the Cards 13-3 UNDER at home vs. an NL starting pitcher whose ERA is 3.50 or better.

Game 1 Edge: Milwaukee

Coming into the series, these were the No.2 and No.3 scoring teams in the National League behind the Dodgers. St. Louis has lost some of its firepower with outfielders Ryan Ludwick and Rick Ankiel on the DL. This means they have to work harder to manufacture runs and would like to believe they have the right pitcher to help slow down Milwaukee offense. Adam Wainwright (3-1, 4.35) and the Redbirds are 16-5 in his last 21 home starts and he’s been particularly effective if opponent has winning record with 10-1 mark. Milwaukee will need to have same patience they have shown at the dish all season in being second in baseball in walks and make Wainwright bring the ball up.

They will counter with Jeff Suppan (2-3, 5.50) who was part of the 2006 World Series championship team in the Gateway City. With the off day last Monday, that gave the righthander an extra day of rest and he is 4-0 pitching with five days between games. Suppan has enjoyed facing his old team and is 4-0 with a 1.93 ERA since becoming a Brewer. Only negative is the Crew and Suppan are 3-10 in road games against teams with winning records.

Game 2 Edge: St. Louis

The Redbirds might have a slight advantage coming into this game as they were 9-5 playing in daylight compared to Milwaukee’s 6-5 mark before Saturday’s contest. The outcome could be decided early for the series finals. Todd Wellemeyer (3-3, 5.80) has started poorly in most every start. Too many times, he's dug himself too deep a hole to be able to dig out, with opposing teams hitting an arresting .337 against him.

Milwaukee’s Manny Parra (2-4, 4.82) was on much the same path with 0-4 start, but has bounced back with consecutive wins. Surprisingly, the lefthander has not held lefty hitters in check, with them batting .321 against him compared to .246 by righty’s. Parra’s control is still an issue as he walks almost six batters per nine innings and has yet to get past six innings this season. The Cardinals are 7-4 against left-hand starters this season.
Game 3 Edge: Milwaukee
Milwaukee has won eight of 15 at the newer Busch Stadium and right now is in a great groove. This team has matured to the point of they now play much better on the road (9-7 this season) then in the past. If the Cardinals had all their top guns in the lineup, might be inclined to look their way, but since they don’t, the Brewers look like the play for this series wager.
Sportsbook.com series odds: Milwaukee +130, St. Louis -160
StatFox Edge Pick: Milwaukee

MLB News

Click here to read latest MLB news