Martinez To Power Cardinals Over Brewers Saturday

Jay Pryce

Saturday, July 9, 2016 4:36 PM UTC

Saturday, Jul. 9, 2016 4:36 PM UTC

Carlos Martinez looks to blank Chase Anderson and the Brewers this afternoon in Milwaukee. Get your free MLB pick with analysis here. 

St. Louis Cardinals (44-42) – Carlos Martinez (7-6, 2.90 ERA)

The Cardinals may be a bit overvalued headed into the All-Star break. In the last calendar month, they are 9-13 SU, playing at -125 average MLB odds. Fading the Birds in this span has netted bettors a 21 percent return on their investment.

The Brewers, though, have proven an easy opponent for St. Louis recently. It is 30-13 SU over the last three years, following last night’s 4-3 defeat to Jimmy Nelson. The loss added just a slight blemish to the Cards’ 14-6 record over their last 20 games at Miller Park.

Carlos Martinez will look to get his club back to winning ways for manager Mike Matheny. The hard-tossing righty has pitched well of late, lowering his ERA from 4.25 to 2.90 since the end of May. Nonetheless, he has failed to win a decision in his last four appearances despite putting in a quality start in each.

Martinez is 2-1 with a 1.08 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in five career starts against the Brew Crew. He has fit in 11 relief appearances as well. The flamethrower holds the current roster to a .217 batting average (13-for-60), yielding just two extra base hits in all—a pair of doubles to second baseman Scooter Gennett.

St. Louis’ 5.14 runs per game are the fourth most in MLB, and it will likely need to hit this mark to win this afternoon. Matheney’s men are just 3-13 away from Busch Stadium crossing the plate four times or fewer on the year; 22-3 notching five or more.


Milwaukee Brewers (38-47) – Chase Anderson (4-9, 5.49 ERA)
The Brewers are rewarding bettors as home underdogs this season. Opening at +157 odds for today’s afternoon affair, they are 14-11 overall, returning nearly 30 percent profit to backers at a +132 average price. In fact, Craig Counsell’s club is 7-3 in their last 10 in this spot.

Former D-backs starter Chase Anderson hopes to surprise oddsmakers again, as he takes the pill for Counsell. The Brewers are just 5-11  in Anderson’s outings, the last four a real challenge. Failing to get past five innings in each, he and the bullpen have surrendered a whopping 9.0 runs per game.

Armed with a stunning circle change-up, Anderson is 0-1 with a 2.76 ERA and 1.59 WHIP in three career starts against the visitors. The Cards’ current roster is hitting .298 overall (17-for-57) with only nine strikeouts in 64 plate appearances.

Offensively, the Brewers are quite dependent on the long ball. They are a dismal 16-43 this season when they hit fewer than two home runs in a game. The Cardinals’ 0.91 home runs allowed per nine innings are the fewest in the bigs. Martinez has given up two home runs or more in a game just three times lifetime; the Cards staff as a whole, 11 times in 52 career starts.


Final Analysis
St. Louis may be an overlay, and the Brewers an underlay headed into this one, but it’s hard to look past Martinez here. He is pitching great, and is closing in on a long-term deal with the club as a result. In his career, St. Louis is 15-6 SU when Martinez commands the hill against an opponent with a sub-.500 record; 14-4 on the road against a team with a lesser winning percentage. The line is too steep to take straight up, so we will pop on the run line in hopes the Cards can win by two or more. They have in Martinez’s three other Miller Park starts as road chalk. Cardinals -1.5 (+105) in the free MLB picks.

Free MLB Pick:  Cardinals -1.5 +105
Best Line Offered:  at Pinnacle
Record YTD: 83-54-4 (-104 avg. odds); MLB YTD: 21-10-2 (+104 avg. odds)

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