MLB Picks: Huge Upset Incoming As Brewers Aim To End Cubs Hype

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 4:59 PM GMT

Cubs are the consensus MLB odds favorites to win the World Series, but they could be overvalued hosting the Brewers tonight given this pitching matchup.

 

MLB Record: 9-13-1, -3.02

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago Cubs
The current favorites on the MLB World Series Futures could be overvalued at home Tuesday night when the talented Jimmy Nelson could be giving the Milwaukee Brewers (8-11, 3-5 away) good value as they pay a visit to fellow right-hander Kyle Hendricks and the first-place Chicago Cubs (14-5, 4-2 home) at historic Wrigley Field in Chicago, IL at 8:05 ET in a game available on Comcast SportsNet - Chicago. The posted money line at BetOnline has Milwaukee as a very large underdog for this contest at current MLB odds of +193.

Beating Up on National League Central
The Cubs are justifying their preseason favoritism to win the 2016 World Series with their great 14-5 start, which is just one-half game behind the 14-4 Washington Nationals for the best record in baseball. Furthermore, they come off of a 5-2 road trip all vs. teams in the National League Central, first taking two out of three games from the Cardinals in St. Louis and then three out of four from the Reds in Cincinnati, leaving Chicago at 8-2 inside its division so far!

The Brewers meanwhile are bring up the rear in the division at 8-11 as MLB picks, but all hope is not lost yet at this early stage of the season with Milwaukee still a manageable six games behind the Cubs. We also feel that this specific pitching matchup tonight gives the Brewers a very realistic chance at pulling off an upset, getting a small measure of revenge after losing 12 of the last 13 matchups with the Cubs last year.

Nelson Should Bounce Back from So-So Outing
We were quite high on Nelson entering this season, and he showed nice promise while allowing exactly two earned runs in each of his first starts this year. He had a much rougher outing last time out vs. the Twins last Wednesday though, allowing four earned runs on 10 hits including two home runs. On the bright side, he had six strikeouts vs. one walk in 6.2 innings, meaning that Nelson has now worked at least six innings in all four starts in 2016.

That leaves Nelson at 3-1 pitching for a team that has won only eight games overall with a fine 3.46 ERA and 1.23 WHIP, so we like his chances of bouncing back with a better start here tonight. Nelson has a power sinker that has averaged 93.5 MPH this season, topping out at 96.8 MPH, and that rather unique pitch has allowed him to combine a respectable strikeout rate of 7.39 per nine innings with a good ground ball rate of 49.6 percent over his Major League career.

Perhaps most importantly, Nelson has actually pitched well against the Cubs despite being 0-3 in seven career appearance against them, as he posted a 3.60 ERA and 1.11 WHIP with 35 strikeouts vs. 10 walks in 35 innings. And despite the obvious prowess of the Chicago offense, the Cubs do strike out a lot and they do not have great team speed, which could play right into Nelson's strengths.

Is Hendricks Worth This Price?
Despite the great start by the Cubs, Hendricks is now 1-2 after taking the loss in St. Louis in his last start where he allowed four earned runs on seven hits plus two walks while lasting only 5.1 innings, raising his ERA to 4.00 early on. Hendricks is not lacking in ability as the youngest member of the Cubs starting rotation at 26 years old, as he did post a nice ERA of 2.46 as a rookie in 2014, although the ERA did mushroom to 3.95 last year.

However, Hendricks is still the Chicago fifth starter after all and he is facing a Milwaukee offense that is starting to pick things up, especially vs. right-handed pitchers as the Brewers are averaging 5.31 runs per game against them over the last 10 games. All of that has us doubting if Hendricks is worth this prohibitive favorite price here against Nelson, who just might be the better starting pitcher in this game.

Wind Expected to Blow In at Wrigley
Finally, the current forecast calls for the wind to blow in at Wrigley Field tonight at 17 MPH. That would probably have more affect on the home-standing Cubs as they are the more powerful team here, leading the Major Leagues in scoring with 6.26 runs per game while belting out 26 home runs, which ranks seventh in the league.

Given the relatively close pitching matchup here and this game expected to be relatively low scoring due to the wind, we see nice value in the underdog Milwaukee Brewers when they visit the Chicago Cubs at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley on Tuesday.

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Free MLB Pick: Brewers +190
Best Line Offered: at Intertops