The Milwaukee Brewers took the last two against the Chicago Cubs, now they head south to St. Louis to take on their division rivals, the Cardinals, in their home opener. The opening line favored the Brewers, but do oddsmakers have it right?
Milwaukee Brewers vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Thursday, April 8th, 2021 – 04:15 PM EDT at Busch Stadium
Will Adam Wainwright Bounce Back?
Thirty-nine-year-old Adam Wainwright is still spinning that damn curveball. His first start of the year, was not his best, as he surrendered six runs over two and two-thirds innings. However, I don’t expect that to be a continuing problem for Wainwright. He isn’t a hard thrower where he has to worry about losing velocity or placement as he ages. There are simply going to be some days when he doesn’t have the curveball as much as he needs it to be effective. But, when he does have that hook, his curveball is as good as there is in the game.
The Cardinals dropped two straight to the Reds last weekend, but have since bounced back very nicely, with three solid wins in a row against the Marlins in Miami. The offense has looked good, they scored fifteen runs in three games, but the pitching is the story. In those three wins, they only allowed three runs. That’s a hell of a dominant series.
Can The Brewers Stay Hot?
The Brewers got a win on Opening Day, then proceeded to lose three straight games. Then they won two straight games. And now they are trying to keep the roller coaster on the upswing in St. Louis. The way I see it, Milwaukee has a couple of problems heading into this game. First is their offense. Even with the two wins against the Cubs, Milwaukee has only managed thirteen runs in their last five games. That is a real problem. If their offense can’t get going early in this one, it could be a long day if Wainwright settles into a nice groove.
The second problem for Milwaukee is their starting pitcher today, Corbin Burnes. Now, Burnes pitched very well in his first start this season, even though he took the loss. What concerns me about Burnes is that if you go back and look at his appearances against the Cardinals last season, they were not good. The Cardinals' offense is hot right now, and this could be a chance to keep that going against Burnes.
I know this is a divisional game, and these teams know each other well. I think that plays into the Cardinals’ hands in this situation. It’s their home opener, I think they will be ready to go, and most importantly I think we see a motivated Adam Wainwright. Wainwright will want to bounce back from his bad opener, and he has traditionally been pretty good against the Brewers. I think he will come out dealing. Also, I think he’s got the right opponent because the Brewers offense is really struggling early this season.
Fundamentally, I don’t trust bullpens in MLB, particularly early in the season. I think there is value on Wainwright and the Cardinals' offense against Burnes. That is why I am going to make this a first five-inning play. I get Wainwright against the weak Brewers offense, and the hot Cardinals bats against Burnes, who they have played really well against in the past.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.