Our MLB consultant breaks down Thursday’s NL Central series opener between the Cubs and Brewers. Join us in reading this revealing betting preview article that concludes with his money line pick.
NL Central Rivalry Renewed at Miller Park
A couple of NL Central rivals open a four game series in Thursday when the Cubs and Brewers collide at Miller Park in Milwaukee. The first pitch is slated for 8:10 PM ET. Milwaukee is 4-2 this season versus the Cubs, and has gone 14-8 when facing Chicago at home since 2013.
The Cubs Jake Arrieta has been one of the hottest starting pitchers in all of baseball during the past month. Arrieta is 5-2 in his last seven team starts with an excellent 1.36 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, and a better than 5:1 strikeout to walk ratio. He’s been an extremely profitable 8-2 during his road team starts in 2015, posting a superb 2.14 ERA and 0.97 WHIP. Hypothetically if you wagered $100 a game on the Cubs against the money line in Arrieta’s ten road starts, it would’ve produced a profit of $610.
Right-hander Jimmy Nelson will get the start tonight for Milwaukee. Nelson has been very good during his previous three starts, evidenced by a stellar 1.77 ERA in those appearances. However, in his previous four starts at Miller Park, Nelson has a lofty 5.68 ERA and 1.66 WHIP. He’s made four career starts versus the Cubs and all of those came since 2014. During those four outings he compiled a less than impressive 4.61 ERA.
Cubs Focus on NL Wild Card Spot
The Cubs enter this series with a record of 53-47. They currently trail San Francisco by 2.5 games for the final National League wild card spot. They also find themselves 6.0 games behind the wild card leading Pittsburgh Pirates, and 10.5 games behind the NL Central leader St. Louis. Although there’s plenty of baseball left to play, and catching St. Louis isn’t entirely an insurmountable task, a potential wild card berth is more the realistic expectation at this juncture.
Brewers Bats go Silent
After going 15-6 during a recent 21 game stretch, Milwaukee has proceeded to lose four of their last five. The Brewers are averaging a dismal 1.7 runs per game during their last seven, and have been held scoreless in three of their previous five games.
There’s not much suspense for me in terms of handicapping this game. We have a red hot starting pitcher (Arrieta) facing an ice cold hitting opponent (Milwaukee). In addition, the Cubs are in the playoff hunt, and Milwaukee’s postseason chances have been put to rest. I’m going to lean toward the road favorite in this game for one of my MLB picks on Thursday. According to the MLB betting odds at 5Dimes, they provide us with a favorable price regarding this specific wager.
MLB Pick: Cubs -123 on the money line at 5Dimes.