Excellent Underdog Value in Dodgers vs. Brewers Today

Willie Bee

Sunday, August 10, 2014 12:17 PM GMT

On the verge of being swept in their MLB odds series against the Brewers, the Los Angeles Dodgers send Clayton Kershaw to the mound in Milwaukee for Sunday's finale.

Anyone who might have thought Milwaukee was using smoke and mirrors to stay in the hunt for a National League playoff slot need only look at this weekend series with the Los Angeles Dodgers to see that the Brewers are for real.

The Brewers scored their second straight win over LA on Saturday, Mike Fiers' eight strong innings on the mound and a pair of homers accenting the victory that left Milwaukee just percentage points behind the Dodgers for the league's top record. Ron Roenicke's crew can make a strong statement on Sunday if the Brewers can complete the sweep and build on their 2.5-game lead in the NL Central.

To finish the broom job, however, Milwaukee will have to do something no team has done since May 28: Beat Los Angeles with Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers opened as $1.80 road chalk, that moneyline now down around -170 according to SBR's live MLB odds. Jimmy Nelson will be on the mound for the Brewers in the 2:10 PM (ET) start, TBS set to broadcast the matchup that also features a 6.5 run total.

 

All Aboard The Kershaw Money Train!
Even when he's been off a bit the past 2+ months -- which for Kershaw means allowing three runs over seven innings -- the Dodgers have found a way to win. The streak now stands at 12 for LA backers when the lefty hurls after last Tuesday's 5-4 walk-off win over the Angels.

Kershaw has also been adding cash to baseball bettors' pockets when he faces the Brewers over his career, winning five of his eight starts against them (3.37 ERA) and a perfect 3-0 at Miller Park (0.78 ERA).

Nelson draws the short straw to have to face Kershaw in his career debut vs. the Dodgers, and is looking to build off his first dubya in front of the Milwaukee faithful following Tuesday's 4-3 decision vs. the Giants. The former Crimson Tide star had a horrible first game at Miller Park, but has since settled down with three straight quality starts off this mound.

 

Umpire Notes, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick
John Tumpane is next up in the umpire rotation to call balls and strikes, bringing a 10-9-4 (O/U/P) record into the affair. He has worked three games involving either the Brewers or Dodgers, and all of them fell at least two runs shy of the scoreboard hurdle. Home underdogs aren't faring well with the Illinois native behind the plate, winning just two of eight such encounters.

This is the 2nd-lowest chalk line Kershaw backers have been asked to consider since early-June, which only makes more tempting to back the best pitcher in the game. But the recent slowdown by the Dodgers offense -- which once again will be without Hanley Ramirez -- has me thinking this could be the day Kershaw's and LA's streaks end. Call me crazy, but I'm going with Milwaukee for my free MLB pick.

My Free MLB Pick: Brewers +155 

Season: 98-101 (-4.00)

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