Phillies Coming Back To Earth Makes Underdog Brewers The MLB Pick

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, June 2, 2016 2:00 PM UTC

Thursday, Jun. 2, 2016 2:00 PM UTC

The Phillies were a nice story early on but they are now regressing to the form of the team that had the worst record in baseball in 2015, making the Brewers the MLB pick as dogs.


With the home team regressing back to last place form, the road team appears to have value as a small underdog when Chase Anderson and those Milwaukee Brewers (24-29, 9-14 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Jerad Eickhoff and the suddenly reeling Philadelphia Phillies (26-27, 13-12 home) in the opening game of a four-game weekend series from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA at 7:05 ET in a game available on FOX Sports - Wisconsin.

The posted money line at Bovada has Milwaukee as a tiny underdog for this contest at current MLB Odds of +102.


The Phillies Are Who We Thought They Were?
The Phillies were the surprise of baseball early this season after finishing with the worst record in baseball last year at 63-99, but even while winning, they were getting severely outscored for the season and were fortunate enough to win a ton of one-run games. Well, fate is now catching up with them as they have finally dropped below .500 after losing eight of their last nine games, including getting swept their last two series by the Cubs and Nationals.

The Brewers are currently two games worse than Philadelphia at 24-29, but that will probably not last much longer given the direction that the Phillies are heading. And at least the Brewers were showing signs of a pulse as the winning MLB Picks in five out of six games before losing two of three to the St. Louis Cardinals, salvaging the series finale 3-1 yesterday. Philadelphia represents a sharp drop in class from St. Louis however.


Chase Ready to Show True Form?
Chase Anderson was a highly regarded prospect when he first came up with the Arizona Diamondbacks two years ago and he showed why while going 5-0 with a 3.14 ERA over his first five Major League starts. Unfortunately it was all downhill from there while pitching half of his games in a hitter’s haven in Arizona, but we thought it was good for Anderson to get a fresh start in Milwaukee this year and he was very sharp his first two starts in a Brewers uniform.

Again though, he was unable to sustain that form and is currently just 2-6 with a 5.00 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. The news is not all terrible for Chase though as he does have a very nice ratio of 42 strikeouts vs. just 16 walks, and he comes off of possibly his best start since going 11 innings without allowing an earned run his first two starts for Milwaukee, as he limited the Cincinnati Reds to one run in five hits in five innings on Saturday, leaving after getting hit by a pitch.

Yes, the Reds are struggling offensively but the Phillies are worse, ranking dead last among the 30 Major League teams in scoring at 3.13 runs per game, 29th in home runs with 40 and 26th in batting at .232. Thus, Anderson has a good chance here to build on the momentum of his last good abbreviated start.


Eickhoff Has Been Erratic
As for Eickhoff, while he has had a few good outings for the Phillies, he has been mostly inconsistent and the bottom line is a 2-7 record with a 4.07 ERA. He did have perhaps his best start of the season vs. the lowly Atlanta Braves two starts back when he tossed seven scoreless innings allowing five hits, but he then could not handle the rise in class vs. the Cubs last time out, getting nicked for four earned runs on eight hits plus one walk in six innings.

Furthermore, Eickhoff’s first career start vs. the Brewers earlier this season was not a pleasant experience as he was roughed up for seven earned runs on nine hits in 5.1 innings. He also cannot feel good about the fact that Ryan Braun has now apparently returned as a permanent fixture in the Milwaukee lineup after being in and out the last three weeks or so due to nagging back and neck injuries.

It is also noteworthy that the Phillies have scored a grand total of 11 runs during their six-game losing streak, which could put added pressure on the young Eickhoff in this favorite role knowing he cannot count on a lot of support.


Liking the City of Brotherly Love
Finally, the Brewers may not be a great road team in general but one venue they do not mind visiting is the City of Brotherly Love, as they are a perfect 7-0 in the last seven head-to-head meetings here in Philadelphia. The Brewers are also 6-1 in their last seven games vs. teams with losing records, while the Phillies are 16-36 in their last 52 games vs. the National League Central.

Given the inconsistency of Eickhoff and Anderson probably having more ability than he has shown, expect those trends to continue and back Milwaukee as a tiny underdog visiting a struggling Philadelphia team on Thursday.

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MLB Pick: Brewers +104
Best Line Offered:  at Heritage
MLB Record: 31-31-1, +3.38

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