As the Dodgers get ready for this game against the Brewers, they have to realize that if they don’t accomplish a lot against weak teams, their schedule in the final months of the season will be tougher.
The Dodgers are doing okay, but hardly anything better than that. Los Angeles won two of its first three games against the Philadelphia Phillies before a Thursday game, the conclusion of that four-game set at Dodger Stadium. Before winning two of three from a bad Phillies team, the Dodgers lost two of three at home to the mediocre New York Mets, a team that has had a lot of problems scoring this season and has been dealing with position-player injuries for much of the year. The Dodgers are treading water; if they had been able to play at a higher level, they could have created a lot more distance between themselves and the San Francisco Giants in the National League West.
The Brewers got cooled off in the short term, but they have been hotter than the Dodgers in the long run. Milwaukee did lose two of three at home to the Atlanta Braves, but before that, the Brewers had won eight straight games, powered particularly by a road sweep of the Cincinnati Reds. Milwaukee is a very interesting team in that its record is awful (37-50 as of Thursday evening), but it has won series against the Chicago Cubs and Detroit Tigers, among other teams with winning records. The Brewers might still be a bad team in general, but they look a lot more dangerous than they did two weeks ago.
With Jimmy Nelson, the Brewers have a mediocre pitcher on the mound. Nelson has a 4.50 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. In his last five starts, he’s given up fewer than three runs only once, a brilliant start against the New York Mets on June 24. In the other four games, not only did Nelson give up at least three runs, but he never completed six full innings. He pitched five innings in three of those four starts. Giving up three runs in five innings is just not that good. It’s not what a team needs, and it will generally overtax the bullpen.
Los Angeles pitcher Mike Bolsinger has a 3.09 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. He did not do well against the New York Mets on Sunday, giving up four runs on nine hits in five innings. In his previous outing, he threw four shutout innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 29. He won’t go deep into this game, but if he can give up only two runs, that’s probably better than what Nelson is likely to do.
What’s The Pick?
It’s worth noting that Nelson does not pitch great on the road as he has a 4.97 ERA in away games and opponents bat .289 against him (compared to .218 at home). As for Bolsinger, he continues to fade. He had a 1.49 WHIP in June and was at 2.20 in his first start in July. Take the over with your MLB picks in this one.
MLB Pick: Over at The Greek