Free MLB Picks: Cardinals Set To Soar Over Brewers on Saturday

Jay Pryce

Saturday, July 2, 2016 12:00 PM UTC

Saturday, Jul. 2, 2016 12:00 PM UTC

Cardinals have dominated the Brewers in recent years, and look to Wainwright to rekindle his old form when they host Milwaukee and Jimmy Nelson in the second of a three-game series.

Milwaukee Brewers (35-44) – Jimmy Nelson (5-3, 3.60 ERA)
Manager Craig Counsell hopes the Brewers lineup can give ample support for today’s starter Jimmy Nelson. The team is 0-5 SU in his last five outings, crossing the plate a measly 2.2 times per game.

However, securing victory is not all about propping up his pitcher. The big sinkerballer has been erratic during this stretch as well. He has failed to go more than 5.1 innings in any start, and owns an ugly 14:11 BB/K ratio over the last month.

Nelson is 0-5 with a forgettable 9.51 ERA in six appearances against the Cardinals. The current Cardinals roster owns a .313 batting average against (25-for-80), striking out just 14 times in 90 plate appearances. The OVER is 5-0 in Nelson’s starts versus their NL Central rivals, he and the staff gifting 7.2 runs per outing.

Hitting is tough for this Milwaukee team. Scoring the third fewest runs per game (4.03) in MLB, they struggle to put the ball in play. Striking out a league-high 25.4 percent of the time, the Brewers send the fewest number of batters to the plate with 32.8 per contest.

One area the Brew Crew excels at is the run game. They lead the bigs in stolen bases (.85) and attempts (1.19) with speedster Jonathan Villar swiping a league-leading 26 bags. Defensively, Jonathan Lucroy and company behind the plate have thrown out the most runners (31), and own the fifth best opponent stolen base percentage (59.7%) in MLB.

The Brewers are 13-24 SU away from home this season, scoring a measly 3.6 runs per game. Fading Milwaukee returns close to 12 percent profit in this spot. In fact, the team is 1-15 SU at odds higher than +150, knocking in just 2.1 runs per game. Counsell’s men opened as +164 dogs for this afternoon’s contest.


St. Louis Cardinals (41-38) – Adam Wainwright (6-5, 5.04 ERA)
Since 2014, the Cardinals are 44-20 SU against Milwaukee. Their dominance continues this season. Going 5-2, manager Mike Matheny’s squad has outscored the Brewers 45-14 in the seven games.

Longtime ace Adam Wainwright is on the bump for St. Louis. Pitching well of late, he gave up six earned on 10 hits in 5.0 frames to the Royals last time out, unable to command his curve ball.

Wainwright is 12-8 with a 2.32 ERA in 32 lifetime appearances against Milwaukee. He’s allowed just two home runs to the current roster in 143 at-bats, both off the bat of Ryan Braun. The one-time MVP is just 15-for-71 (.211) in his career against the big right-hander.

Perhaps an ominous sign for the Cards, they are only 3-7 SU at Busch Stadium when facing off against a team with a worst record this season. Going off at average MLB Odds of -151, bettors have netted roughly a 65 percent return fading the home team in this spot.


Final Analysis
If the Cardinals win, it is likely to cover the run line. In 16 St. Louis victories over the Brewers when Wainwright commands the hill, all but three have been by two runs or more. We like the Cardinals’ chances today, and will bypass the steep odds with value possibly in the point spread. Defense will likely be the difference-maker with rain in the forecast. Cardinals -1.5 (+125) is the MLB Pick.

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Free MLB Pick:  Cardinals -1½ +125
Best Line Offered:   at Heritage
Record YTD: 81-53-4 (-105 avg. odds); MLB: 19-9-2 (+103 avg, odds)

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