Small-Market Brewers Worth a Spin vs. Dodgers

Jason Lake

Sunday, June 4, 2017 2:36 PM UTC

Sunday, Jun. 4, 2017 2:36 PM UTC

The Los Angeles Dodgers are off to a pretty good start in the NL West, but the pesky Milwaukee Brewers look like the better baseball pick this Sunday afternoon.

Being a fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers is pretty easy these days. This venerable franchise has finished first in the National League West each of the past four years, and at press time, Los Angeles is back on top of the division – as expected. The Dodgers went into the 2017 regular season as –210 favorites to defend their title.

Far less was expected from the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central. They were +3300 on the MLB odds board after back-to-back losing seasons, but here they are in first place, taking advantage of the wayward Chicago Cubs and everyone else in the division. Milwaukee is hosting the Dodgers this weekend for a three-game series; Sunday’s finale (2:10 p.m. ET) has L.A. favored at –131, and if basic handicapping principles hold up, the Brewers should have betting value as small-market home dogs.

Hasenpfeffer Incorporated

Let’s get to it: The baseball nerds at FiveThirtyEight project Los Angeles at 55 percent to win Sunday’s game, which translates to a fair price of Dodgers –127 using our SBR Betting Odds Converter. Slim value, perhaps, but value nonetheless when you factor in the vigorish.

Kenta Maeda (4.22 FIP) is due to start for L.A., and his sophomore slump makes the Dodgers that much easier to fade. The former five-time Japanese All-Star made a big splash last year, but even though Los Angeles is 7-2 (+3.63 units) in Maeda’s nine starts thus far, that’s because they provided him 6.33 runs per game in support. Maeda has made just two quality starts, and he didn’t make it past the fifth inning in his last two outings.

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The Cardinals have body-slammed Kenta Maeda and broken his glasses here in the first. 3-0, Cards.

— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) May 26, 2017

Speaking of slumps, it’ll be third-year righty Zach Davies (5.28 FIP) taking the mound for Milwaukee, and he’s been somewhat fortunate himself, getting 5.64 runs of support for a team record of 6-5 and 1.60 units in profit. But Davies has pitched quite well of late, including two quality starts in his last three games.

We could put the OVER in our MLB picks instead. It’s 7-2 for Maeda and 7-2-2 for Davies; however, we’re looking at a total of nine runs for Sunday’s game, and the OVER will cost you –115 at press time. Let’s stick with the Brew Crew on the moneyline, and may the sphere be with you.

Free Pick: Brewers +121

Best Line: at BetOnline

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