MLB Handicapping Tips: Betting on the Brewers' Lousy Bats

Jay Pryce

Friday, June 26, 2015 5:16 PM GMT

The Milwaukee Brewers have one of the least productive offenses in MLB this season. In this write-up, we share with you an angle to capitalize off the team's poor hitting.

The Milwaukee Brewers have one of the poorest offenses in the major leagues this season. They rank 27th out of 30 MLB teams in runs scored, 29th in batting average, and 28th in OPS, in spite of playing in one of the more hitting-friendly ballparks in the league. There are many forces to blame for the team's lack of production, including injuries to star players and little depth. Big bats like Carlos Gomez and Jonathan Lucroy have battled leg and foot ailments off and on all year, and 37-year-old Aramis Ramirez, who has already announced that this is his last season, is careening into rapid decline and playing as if he is already retired. The Brewers, in fact, have scored two or fewer runs in 34 games this season, almost half their total played. As sports investors, we want to predict when Milwaukee will bat poorly and cash in on their run-scoring woes. Perhaps the following situation will help us anticipate an advantageous opportunity.

Since 2012 and the departure of Prince Fielder, bets placed under the MLB odds total are striking at a 72% rate out of slightly more than 60 games when the Brewers play as a road underdog of +115 or more against a division opponent with a higher winning percentage. In this scenario, Milwaukee averages a meager 2.7 runs a game. For whatever reason, whether facing lefties or righties, they struggle to hit NL Central pitching away from home when the betting market implies they will lose 53.5% or more in the contest. In fact, the home team's game-time pitcher has thrown a quality start (six or more innings pitched and three earned runs or less) 76% of the time in this situation. If the Brewers can salvage a way to chase the opposing starter out of the game, then their chances to score runs doesn't necessarily get any better, as the favorite's bullpen carry a 2.36 ERA in these games. It is not just one franchise dominating the Brewers here as well.

Below is a table showing Milwaukee's opponents in this scenario and the number of over and under game totals per matchup from 2012-2015:

Team

Over

Under

Push

Cardinals

8

15

1

Reds

5

13

0

Pirates

4

11

2

Cubs

0

4

0

Indeed, since 2012, the Cardinals, Pirates, and Reds each rank in the top-10 in the major leagues in team pitching ERA. Up to this point in the 2015 season, if we swap the new and improved Cubs with the Reds, than they each rank in the top five. As one can expect, the Brewers average 2.3 runs per game this season in our situation, and the under is 11-3-1. The Brewers have road series two more times against Chicago and Cincinnati this season, and face Pittsburgh and St. Louis on the road in September to close out the year. With the Brewers sporting a 26-46 record up to this point, we can expect this situation to spring up many times after the All-Star Break.

As always, use this information to support your MLB picks and best of luck.