Anderson Makes Brewers A Reliable Underdog MLB Pick vs. Twins

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, April 18, 2016 5:34 PM GMT

Chase Anderson is starting to fulfill his potential now that he's out of Arizona, making of his new team, Milwaukee Brewers, a valuable MLB pick vs. Minnesota Twins.

MLB Record: 8-7, +2.08

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Minnesota Twins
There looks to be a live underdog in interleague play Monday night when the apparently still undervalued Chase Anderson and the Milwaukee Brewers (5-7, 2-4 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Phil Hughes and the Minnesota Twins (3-9, 3-3 home) at Target Field in Minneapolis, MN at 8:10 ET in a game available on FOX Sports – North. The posted money line at BetOnline has Milwaukee as a road underdog for this contest at current MLB odds of +129.

 

Winless No More
The Twins had their worst start to a season in 112 years when they began the year 0-9 while scoring a meager 14 runs over those nine losses and going 5-for-66 with runners in scoring position, but they put an emphatic halt to that skid by sweeping a three-game weekend set from the Los Angeles Angels, taking the series finale in 12 innings 3-2 yesterday. The worst start in franchise history came back in 1904 when the then Washington Senators began 0-13-1.

The Brewers were 3-3 when this road trip began, but they were the losing MLB picks in two out of three games in each of the first two stops on this trip, first visiting the St. Louis Cardinals and then the Pittsburgh Pirates. With no disrespect intended toward the Twins, Minnesota does probably represent a drop in class after squaring off with those two tough ball clubs.

 

Nice Acquisition for Milwaukee
Anderson is proving to be a shrewd acquisition by the Brewers after coming over from the Arizona Diamondbacks as part of the trade in return for Jean Segura. You see, Anderson never did adapt to pitching in the hitter’s paradise that is Chase Field in Phoenix, so his numbers declined after winning his first five career starts for the Diamondbacks when he was first recalled to the Major Leagues in 2014.

Even with that, Anderson did have a respectable 3.95 xFIP during his brief tenure at Arizona, so it was fairly apparent that a change in venue would do him good. Well, Anderson has now made two starts for Milwaukee and he has yet to all an earned run, although he did allow three runs that were unearned, leaving him at 1-0 with a perfect 0.00 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP. More importantly, a Brewers’ team that has five total win won both of his starts.

We remain bullish on Anderson right now and perhaps even for the rest of the year, and the fact that this is the first time that the Twins have ever faced him should work to his advantage.

Minimally Quality Starts
As for Hughes, he has not really been that impressive so far despite being two for two in Quality Starts. That is because his first start of the year literally met the bare requirement to quality for a Quality Start as he allowed three earned runs in six innings vs. the Baltimore Orioles, and he then recorded just one more out in his second start vs. the Chicago White Sox, again allowing three earned runs but this time in 6.1 innings.

Thus, his ERA stands at a mediocre 4.38, and he has allowed 13 hits in 12.1 innings. The only reason his WHIP is a good 1.05 is because Hughes has yet to walk a batter, which is nothing new for a pitcher that set a Major League record for strikeout-to-walk ratio in 2014 mainly due to issuing a mere 16 walks in 209.2 innings. However, Hughes was more hittable with all the strikes he throws in 2105 with a 4.40 ERA, and that has continued this year.

Granted Hughes too is facing his opponent here for the first time in his career, except in his case that is not as meaningful as it would be with most other pitchers as it is really no secret that the vast majority of his pitches will be inside the strike zone. He is facing a Milwaukee lineup that has been improving vs. right-handed pitchers, averaging 5.31 runs per nine innings against them over the last five games.

 

Red-Hot Plouffe Out for Twins
Finally, not all the news was good for the Twins over the weekend vs. the Angels as they lost the red-hot Trevor Plouffe to a right intercostal strain late in yesterday’s game, and they will hold him out of the lineup for a few days before evaluating their options, which could include a stint on the disabled list. Plouffe went 8-for-12 over the three games vs. the Angels including going 3-for-4 before leaving with the injury on Sunday.

Plouffe was a major key to the Twins snapping out of their offensive slump, and when you add in the mastery that Anderson has displayed in a Brewers’ uniform, we feel there is good value in backing Milwaukee at this underdog price visiting Minnesota on Monday.

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Free MLB Pick: Brewers +127
Best Line Offered: at Heritage