Major Underdog Betting Value in Brewers vs. Dodgers

Ross Benjamin

Friday, August 15, 2014 12:41 PM UTC

Friday, Aug. 15, 2014 12:41 PM UTC

A pair of division leaders square off tonight when the Dodgers host the Brewers. Our MLB handicapping guru analyzes this premier matchup, and discloses his surprising selection in this game. 

Battle of NL Division Leaders
The Dodgers will host the Brewers tonight in Los Angeles with the first pitch slated for 10:10 PM ET. According to MLB betting odds the Dodgers are a -160 money line home favorite and the posted total is 7.0. The Brewers have gone 10-6 versus the Dodgers over the last 3-seasons including going 2-1 in 2014


Starting Pitchers
The Brewers will go with right-hander Jimmy Nelson on the hill for this series opener. Nelson has displayed very good form over his last 3-starts with a 3.15 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. The 25-year old hurler will be making just his 7th start for Milwaukee this season, after being recalled up from the Brewers AAA affiliate in Nashville, where he was 10-2 with an excellent 1.46 ERA, and a 0.92 WHIP. The 25-year old has made 5 of his 6-starts at home this season. His lone start (5/25) on the road came in his 2014 debut at Miami, when he tossed 5 2/3 of scoreless baseball during a 7-1 Brewers win. Right after that start he was sent back to AAA, and was recalled again for a July 12th home start versus the Cardinals. He did face the Dodgers at home just last Sunday, allowing 2 earned runs and 8-hits in 6.0 innings during a 5-1 Milwaukee loss.

The Dodgers Zack Greinke gets the call tonight versus the NL Central leading Brewers. Greinke has been much better at home than on the road this season. The right-hander has gone 7-3 against the money at Dodger Stadium in 2014 with a stellar 2.66 ERA, a 0.96 WHIP, and just short of an excellent 8:1 strikeout to walk ratio. As a matter of fact he’s gone an extremely profitable 20-5 against the money at home over the last 2-seasons. Greinke has seen 5 of his last 6-starts go under the total, and he went 2-4 against the money in those outings. A key contributor to his recent lack of success against the money was a lack of run support. The Dodgers have scored 3-runs or less in 5 of those last 6-starts by the veteran hurler. Greinke hasn’t fared well in 2 career starts versus the Brewers, going 0-2 against the money, with a large 8.10 ERA and 2.10 WHIP. Both of those outings took place since the start of the 2013 season.


Brewers have been Average after Fast Start
Despite going just 16-22 over their last 38-games, the Brewers have been able to maintain their lead in the NL Central thanks to a fast start to the season. The Brewers have been a profitable team on the road this year going 32-27, and earning 8.80 units against the money line. Tonight will be their 5th of a 7-game in 7-day road trip which culminated with an easy win over the Cubs yesterday afternoon. The Brewers haven’t been this large of a road underdog very often this season, but when that’s occurred they’ve thrived in those situations. Milwaukee has gone a remarkable 5-0 this year as a money line road underdog of +150 or more.


Dodgers Return Home
The Dodgers return home tonight following a 7-game in 7-day road trip that saw them go 4-3. They concluded the trip with a matinee affair in Atlanta yesterday, and then had to travel across three time zones, and will be playing with no rest tonight. They’ve actually been much better on the road (40-26) than at home (30-27) in 2014. They will enter tonight riding a bit of momentum after winning 4 of their last 5 on the recently concluded road trip.


Final Analysis
The old adage is no guts then no glory. That’s a two headed coin when it comes to MLB betting, that can either make you look like a genius, or a complete idiot. The key to success in those situations is to take calculated risks, and choose your spots carefully. This is one of those times for me. I love the upside of the Brewers rookie Jimmy Nelson, and have to factor in how Grienke has struggled mightily against the Brewers in recent starts. Then considering Milwaukee has been extremely profitable in these situations on the road in 2014, and the Dodgers have been a very average team at home, I have to conclude there’s too much value to pass up on the underdog.

Free Pick: Brewers +150 over the Dodgers at Bet365 Sportbook

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