Bank Off Kyle Hendricks & Pick Cubs vs. Brewers Under The Total

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 2:38 PM GMT

Kyle Hendricks is often forgotten in the great Cubs rotation while Chase Anderson of the Brewers could be effective facing the Cubs for the first time, so ‘under’ is the MLB pick.

Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers

MLB Record: 22-21-1, +4.56
One of the best back-of-the-rotation pitchers in baseball and a pitcher facing tonight’s opponent for the first time could help produce an ‘under’ Tuesday night when the underrated Kyle Hendricks and the team with the best record in the majors, the Chicago Cubs (27-9, 13-3 away), pay a visit to fellow right-hander Chase Anderson and the Milwaukee Brewers (16-22, 10-11 home) at Miller Park in Milwaukee, WI at 8:10 ET on Comcast SportsNet - Chicago. The posted total at Heritage Sports is 9 for this contest with the current MLB odds on the ‘under’ set at -105.

 

Best Record by Nice Margin
Not only do the Cubs have the best record in the Major Leagues, but it is by a rather nice margin as at 27-9, they are four games better than the team with the second best record, the 23-13 Baltimore Orioles of the American League. Chicago took two out of three games from the Pittsburgh Pirates this past weekend back home at Wrigley Field, just missing the sweep by losing the finale 2-1 Sunday despite Jon Lester taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning.

The Brewers are already a whopping 12 games behind the Cubs while in fourth place in the National League Central, with only the 15-23 Cincinnati Reds keeping them out of the basement for the time being by just one game. The Brewers salvaged a split of a weekend four-game series vs. the San Diego Padres here at home by being the winning MLB picks 3-2 in the series finale Sunday. The Cubs are 2-0 in this season series so far with those wins coming in Chicago.

 

Hendricks Could Pitch Too
The Cubs are known for their great frontline pitching led by Jake Arrieta, Lester and John Lackey, and because of that the talented Hendricks often becomes a forgotten man despite now owning a career 3.44 ERA and 1.12 WHIP over 51 Major League starts since coming up in 2014!

There is no need to remind the Brewers of how good Hendricks is though after he held them to one run on two hits in five innings April 26th before getting pulled for a pinch-hitter with the Cubs trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning. While that outing was shortened, Hendricks has already proven his ability to handle the Milwaukee lineup by going 4-1 with a 1.49 ERA and 0.87 WHIP in seven career starts vs. the Brewers with 34 strikeouts vs. six walks!

Thus, Hendricks is not your typical fifth starter while giving great starting depth to the pitching-rich Cubbies, as remarkably his 2.48 FIP and 2.95 xFIP are both the best among the Chicago starters. Yes you read that correctly, as the undefeated reining Cy Young Award winner Arrieta is currently sporting a 2.62 FIP and 3.05 xFIP.

Anderson Better Than His Record
Anderson has had a few nice starts in his first season with the Brewers, but he has also had a few ugly ones that have resulted in a poor 1-5 mark, 6.11 ERA and 1.64 WHIP. The good news is that he followed a stretch of four straight shaky outings with a Quality Start vs. the Miami Marlins last Wednesday, albeit in an unlucky 3-2 loss, so he may be starting to regain the form that saw him toss 11 innings without allowing an earned run his first two starts of 2016.

Remember that Anderson was highly regarded when he first broke into the Major Leagues with Arizona in 2014 and he was even 5-0 with a 3.14 ERA after his first five starts in the big leagues. Eventually though, pitching in the launching pad that is Chase Field in Phoenix took its toll as it does for most pitchers, so getting traded away from the Diamondbacks may have been just what Anderson needed to kick-start his career again.

The results have not been there yet but the potential still is, and this being Anderson’s first ever start against the Cubs should work to his advantage.

 

Traditionally an ‘under’ Series
Finally, this long-running division rivalry has been a fairly low scoring one, as the ‘under’ is now 33-16-2 in the last 51 meetings overall including 6-0-2 in the last eight meetings in Milwaukee. Also, the ‘under’ is 7-0 in Hendricks's last seven starts vs. the Brewers, as well as 8-3 in his last 11 starts overall.

We expect Hendricks to maintain his fine form here vs. an opponent that he has dominated in the past, thus giving some leeway to Anderson in case he allows a few runs, making the ‘under’ our play when the Chicago Cubs visit the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday.

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MLB Pick: Under 9
Best Line Offered: at Heritage