Milwaukee Brewers vs. Cleveland Indians Preview and Pick – Bush vs. Pavano

Milwaukee Brewers (34-29) Dave Bush +113, 9.5 O/U at Cleveland
Indians (29-36) Carl Pavano -123, 9.5 O/U, Jacobs Field,
Cleveland, Ohio, 7:05 PM EST, Monday, ESPN

by Badger of

Two former American League Central foes renew their rivalry tonight in Jacobs Field in Cleveland when the Indians and right-hander Carl
Pavano host the Milwaukee Brewers and Dave Bush in the opener of a
three-game interleague series.

The Indians come into the game playing the best, as they have now won
three series in row with Cliff Lees masterful 3-0 victory over Chris
Carpenter and the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday night. Lees gem gave
the Indians two out of three over the Cards, matching their win total
over the Royals and the White Sox the pervious 10 days.

The Brewers on the other hand are scuffling, coming off of a
disappointing 1-5 homestand in Miller Park. They lost Sundays game
against the White Sox when closer Trevor Hoffman finally proved human
and gave up a run, so if the Brewers havent hit rock bottom yet they
are close.

Oddsmakers opened the game with Pavano and the Indians as -120
favorites, but the number has adjusted upwards to -123 to -125 at the
offshore sportsbooks on the Web. The Brewers are +113 underdogs on
the dimeline. The over/under total is listed at 9.5
across the board at all of the books.

Pavano had an outing youd like to forget last time out against the Royals, giving up nine runs on 11 hits (3 HR) in just 4.2 innings. But what made that start so bizarre was he threw a three-hit complete
game shutout over the White Sox the start before, so he literally
went from one extreme to the other in the matter of five days.

Which Pavano will it be this time? Well, he does have a history
against the Brewers having eight career starts back when he was a
Marlin, going 2-2 with a 4.09 ERA versus the Crew.

Bush has lost three of his last four starts and has dropped to 3-3 on
the season, allowing 12 runs over 15 innings of work. Prior to his
recent scuffles Bush was a solid bet, as the Brewers won six of his
starts in row in April and May.

Bush also has faced the Indians before, with the most recent outing coming the last time these two teams played back in 2006. Bush went eight strong innings (4 H, 2 R) and outdueled Jake Westbrook for a
3-2 Brewers victory. Bush was not the winner however, so his 0-1
record and 3.00 ERA in three career starts is deceiving.

The Indians only scored 11 runs in the series with the Cards, and 12
runs in the Royals series before, so run production is still taking a
backseat to pitching. Jhonny Peralta (2-for-3, 2B) and Mark DeRosa
(HR, .267) have solid histories against Bush tonight.

The Brewers have multiple players in major funks and the result is
only 20 runs scored in the entire six-game homestand just concluded
(over 4 only once). On of those players in a big funk, Bill Hall,
just happens to be 2-for-3 with a double and homerun off of Pavano so
its possible he may get a rare start versus a right-hander.

Milwaukee swept the interleague series back in 2006 at Miller Park,
but they also took two out of three in both the 2001 and 1999 seasons
at Jacobs Field, so theyve gotten the breaks of late in the series.

The under is 4-2 since 2001, 6-3 if you go back to 1999, and is
10-2-1 in the Indians last 13 interleague games.

Badgers Pick: I think Pavano will have a bounce-back game and win a
narrow one over Bush in a one-run game, so take Cleveland -115.