Atlanta Braves (28-23) - Tim Hudson -145, 8.5 O/U at Milwaukee Brewers (24-27) - Dave Bush +125, 8.5 O/U, Miller Park, 8:05 PM EST, Tuesday
by Badger of Predictem.com
Fresh off a convincing victory over Brandon Webb and the Arizona Diamondbacks yesterday, the Atlanta Braves look to continue their strong month of May when they go back on the road for a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.
But if the Braves hope to continue their winning ways, theyll have to find a way to reverse their league worst 6-16 record away from Turner Field.
The Braves will send ace Tim Hudson to the mound in tonights opener. Hudson (7-3, 2.97 ERA), who has won five of his last six starts, will be opposed on the hill by Milwaukees Dave Bush. Bush (1-5, 6.56) is back in the Brewers rotation due to injuries following a short stint in Triple-A and has been tagged around in his two starts since his return.
Baseball Oddsmakers opened the game with Atlanta as -145 favorites on the moneyline, despite their struggles on the road, while the Brewers are listed as +125 underdogs. The over/under total opened at 8.5.
While Atlanta is coming off of a very successful 8-3 homestand with victories over Johan Santana, Randy Johnson and Webb, the Brewers limp back into Miller Park fresh off of a 4-6 road trip in which every game was a struggle. It would have been worse if the Brewers didnt scrap out a 4-3 victory over Washington in 11 innings yesterday.
They are happy to be back in Miller Park though, where they have only played 20 games so far this season (the fewest home games in MLB) and sport an 11-9 record.
Theyll have to find a way to get to Hudson though, something that hasnt happened a lot this month. Hudson is 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA in May, including a stellar performance his last time out (8 IP, 2 R, 7 H) in the victory over Santana. In five career starts versus Milwaukee the right-hander is 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA.
The Brewers will also need Bush to pitch better than he has all season if they want to stay in the game. His last time out Bush was touched for six runs in just five innings (a 8-4 loss to Pittsburgh), and on the season Bush has given up at least five runs in five of his eight starts. For what its worth Bush was solid in his only previous start versus the Braves, going seven innings allowing just one run in a game the Brewers eventually lost 8-3 last May (ironically in a game also started by Hudson).
This is the first meeting between these two teams this season. Last year the Braves won five of the seven games in the series, including two of three at Miller Park last May.
There are a few betting trends associated with Tuesday games that you should keep an eye on tonight. Milwaukee is 9-2 in their last 11 games on Tuesday, while the under is 7-2 in Atlantas last nine on Tuesday.
Milwaukee has also had a hard time stringing together wins, as their 3-8 record in their last 11 following a win would indicate.
Another factor to keep an eye on is the bullpen for both teams. Atlantas pen was very good during their homestand, but they were also used very often as the Braves starters have failed to go more than five innings in their last four games. Meanwhile, the Brewers pen is so ravaged with injuries that they have recalled three arms from Triple-A and picked up Julian Tavarez off the scrap heap yesterday to give him another shot.
Badgers Pick: I really like Hudson to continue his dominating ways through May tonight, but at -145 and with the Braves bad road record I am still a little skeptical. Instead Im taking the over, as both teams will score some late runs off the bullpens to put this game over the total. Take the over of 8.5.