Gio Gonzalez Velocity Dropping Adds Road Betting Value To Brewers

Tuesday, July 5, 2016 11:08 AM GMT

A talented youngster is finding success for the Brewers in the first half of the season. Can Zack Davies continue this success on the road versus the favored Nationals?

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Washington Nationals
The Washington Nationals hope to overcome a tough 1-0 loss on Independence Day on Tuesday night, as they look to continue Milwaukee's awful performance on the road this season. At 50-34, the Nationals are 4.5 games up on the surging Mets and just 2 games behind the best record in all baseball.

The Brewers are currently languishing at 10 games below .500 in the NL Central and are already 15.5 games back of the Cubs. I'd look for them to be sellers at the deadline and won't be too surprised if Ryan Braun gets thrown into the discussion. The home team with the better record is not surprisingly favored in this game, with the Nationals pulling -163 chalk MLB odds on the moneyline at BookMaker. The O/U total has opened up at 8.5 runs across the board, with many books leaning towards the Under such as -117 juice at Pinnacle.

Gio Gonzalez takes the mound for the Washington Nationals, as he looks to keep a little momentum going after a win last week against the Cincinnati Reds. Gonzalez had previously lost six straight decisions in a row and the Nationals seven in a row while he was starting. It was enough of a bad stretch that Gonzalez was being talked about for the possibility of losing his spot in the rotation. The strikeouts are definitely there for him this year, but he is giving up too many hits and walks to stay consistent. On the year, Gonzalez has posted a 4.81 ERA, 97/32 K/BB rate, 1.39 WHIP, and .260 batting average against. He is also giving up home runs at more than twice the rate of 2015 – 12.7% HR/FB rate versus just 5.9%, respectively.

A big red flag for Gonzalez is that his velocity has dropped by about 2 mph on all of his pitches. With a fastball now averaging 90.2 mph he can't expect to make mistakes without getting them punished. Gonzalez will have to adjust quickly, or continue to get pounded on pitches within the strike zone.

Countering for the Brewers in this game is soft-tossing prospect, Zach Davies. After getting his cup of coffee at the end of last year, Davies has started 14 games in 2016 while putting up a 5-4 record, 4.22 ERA, 68/23 K/BB rate, 1.24 WHIP, and .248 batting average allowed. Davies' fastball sits in the upper 80's, but he has a plus-changeup in the high 70's to counter with. He throws that changeup nearly 20% of the time when he pitches. At just 23 years old, Davies has already had success at every minor league level.

Davies last pitched against the Nationals at home two weeks ago, lasting 5 innings, giving up 3 earned runs, while striking out nine batters. The Brewers won that start 5-3. Unlike with Gonzalez and the Nationals, the Brewers have done very well in Davies starts recently. He has won 5 of his last 6 decisions and the team is 7-3 in his last ten starts.

This certainly seems like a spot in which the home team is being overvalued, especially with a struggling Gio Gonzalez on the mound. Velocity drops are nothing to sneeze at, and pitchers going through those phases can seldom be trusted. I'm liking that the Brewers handed the Nationals a loss yesterday and expecting them to be confident in this spot. Take advantage of the plus odds here and snag the Milwaukee Brewers at +142 at BetOnline as one of your MLB Picks.

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Free MLB Pick: Milwaukee Brewers +142
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline
MLB 2016 Record: 32-18-3, +13.01 Units