MLB Picks: Milwaukee Brewers to Provide Nice Value vs. Cardinals

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, April 11, 2016 1:47 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 11, 2016 1:47 PM UTC

Monday marks the 2016 home opener for the defending NL Central Champion Cardinals, but the Brewers appear to offer nice value as they seek to ruin all the festivities. Check our MLB pick.


Record YTD: 5-1, +5.01

The road underdogs could ruin the home opener of the defending National League Central Division Champions at a nice price on Monday when Taylor Jungmann and those upstart Milwaukee Brewers (3-3, 0-0 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Michael Wacha and the division champion St. Louis Cardinals (3-3, 0-0 home) at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO at 4:15 ET in a game televised nationally on MLB Network.

The posted money line at Heritage Sports has Milwaukee as a sizable underdog for this contest at current MLB odds boards of +163.


Both Teams Off to Identical Starts
Both of these teams come in sporting identical 3-3 records, except that the Cardinals have yet to beat anyone of note. That is because they were swept in a season-opening three-game series in Pittsburgh by one of their division rivals in the Pirates before feasting on one of the two worst teams in the National League along with the Phillies in the Atlanta Braves, sweeping a three-game weekend series again on the road.

The Brewers have also been on an upswing as the winning MLB picks in three of their last four games after starting the season 0-2, and unlike the Cardinals, Milwaukee has beaten good teams during this streak, winning the final game vs. the San Francisco Giants before taking two out of three from a chic pick to win the 2016 World Series in the Houston Astros.


Wacha Has Regressed
You may recall that Wacha was a hero as a rookie during the Cardinals’ run to the 2013 World Series, but there were some signs of regression last season even while going 17-7 and then Wacha was brutal in his seasonal debut vs. the Pirates last Tuesday as he was roughed up for five runs (four earned) on 10 hits plus a walk while lasting only 4.1 innings.

Sure, Wacha did win 17 games last season while staying healthy for a full Major League season for the first time in his career, but after striking out more than one batter per inning when he first came up, his strikeout rate was down to 7.59 batters per nine innings while his walks were up a tad at 2.88 per nine, and he got away with allowing a relatively low .272 BABIP despite allowing a lot of good contact in the air, as evidenced by an 11.8 percent HR/FB ratio.

He was not as fortunate in his first start of this season and he must now contend with a Milwaukee lineup that has always given him trouble. In fact, Wacha has a whopping 5.87 ERA and 1.78 WHIP in four career appearances vs. the Brewers despite somehow being 2-0 in those games, allowing Milwaukee batters to his .333 off of him over 15.1 innings.


Promising 2016 debut for Jungmann
Now, we totally get that the Brewers have one of the worst starting rotations in baseball, but the young Jungmann is probably the brightest spot of the staff and is already commonly considered the team ace after a nice rookie year last season that saw him go 9-8 pitching for a losing team with a 3.77 ERA and 107 strikeouts in 119.1 innings.

The former first round pick in the 2011 MLB Draft then pitched very well in his first start this year allowing just one earned run on three hits including a solo home run in five innings while not allowing another hit after allowing that home run leading off the second inning. However, Manager Craig Counsell played it safe and pulled his young potential stud after just 88 pitches in his first start.

Look for Jungmann to get stretched out more and work more deeply into this game, and he is facing a St, Louis lineup that was not as strong last year as it had been in prior seasons and that has just a .236 batting average in six games to begin this year. Imagine how low the Cardinals’ average would be right now if now for teeing off on the dreadful Atlanta staff for 31 runs this past weekend!


Trending the Underdogs
Finally, the Brewers are now 4-1 in their last five games vs. right-handed starters while the Cardinals are 3-7 in their last 10 games vs. right-handers. St Louis is also 0-6 in its last six games inside the NL Central, 2-6 in its last eight games after scoring five runs or more in its previous game and 1-4 in Wacha’s last five starts overall.

Given the potential Jungmann is showing and the Brewers’ past success vs. Wacha, look for those trends to continue at a nice underdog price, so back Milwaukee as a road dog visiting St. Louis on Monday.

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Free MLB Pick: Milwaukee Brewers +162
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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