MLB Picks: Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago Cubs 7/24/20
Milwaukee Brewers (0-0) at Chicago Cubs (0-0)
When: 7:10 p.m., Friday, July 24
Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago
Moneyline: MIL +120/CHC -130 (Intertops - Deposit $25 and get an extra $50 FREE!)
Runline: Brewers +1.5/Cubs -1.5
Starting Pitchers: Brandon Woodruff (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP) vs. Kyle Hendricks (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP)
Division In Transition
This opening series will start to answer what this division might look like when all is said and done. Chicago and Milwaukee have both been at or near the top of the heap for the past few seasons, but the Central Division has quickly become one of the most competitive in baseball. The Cardinals caught and passed both teams last year, and the Reds are coming. Chicago missed the playoffs entirely for the first time since 2014, and Milwaukee got bumped out of the wild card game when it couldn’t hold the lead on eventual champion Washington.
That should have both teams hungry to make up for last season, which should create a spirited matchup that allows both squads to produce an entertaining opener.
Hendricks at Home
Home-field advantage doesn’t exist for every pitcher, but for Kyle Hendricks, Wrigley is the last place Cubs opponents want to face him. A 3.46 ERA is nothing to sneeze at, but his ERA at Wrigley was a mere 2.04 previous season, and he didn’t give up more than three runs in a home start until his final home start of the season. Even that gets a bit of a pass because it came against the Cardinals, who finished last season as the hottest team in the National League. When Hendricks is on, he’s capable of shutting down anyone in the NL, and after a much longer period than normal to recover, he should be ready to be at his best.
But the fact that he’s facing Milwaukee could be a problem. He shut out the Brewers for five innings in one start, but in the other, Milwaukee tagged him for eight hits and four runs in just four innings of a 4-2 loss. However, both times that Hendricks faced the Brewers last year came at Miller Park, which makes it a question mark as to whether Milwaukee’s luck will turn in the Windy City.
With only 60 games on the calendar this year, every game’s importance is more magnified than ever, and that could be a significant advantage to a team like Milwaukee. Over the past three years, the Brewers have been the best team in baseball in both one-run games and in September, which should be excellent preparation for a season that nobody has ever experienced before (and hopefully never will again). What we can expect from Milwaukee is that Craig Counsell will not hesitate to pull Brandon Woodruff if things go haywire (and with a universal DH in place, the Brewers don’t have to worry about pulling their pitcher in the third inning and using a position player to pinch-hit for them).
That might make Milwaukee a better team to live-bet than to place a bet on before the first pitch. With the Brewers, you never know what you’re getting from one inning to another, which could make them well-equipped to handle the season but a frustrating team to actually bet.
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- The Brewers are 14-3 in their past 17 against the NL Central.
- The Brewers have lost four straight on the road.
- The Cubs have won their past two Opening Day home games.
- The Cubs have lost their past six at Wrigley Field.
- The under is 3-1-1 in the Brewers’ past five games.
- The over is 4-0 in the Cubs’ past four games against the NL Central.
- The Cubs have won six of the past eight meetings at Wrigley Field.
The weather should be excellent in Wrigleyville, with temperatures expected to be around 81 degrees and low humidity in the forecast.
Overall, I think the Brewers are the better team. I expect them to finish ahead of the Cubs in the standings when all is said and done. But the Brewers haven’t played well at Wrigley Field as of late, and Hendricks has been dynamite when he’s been able to pitch at home. The Cubs were the second-best team in the National League at home last season, and they’ve dominated this series when the teams meet in Illinois.
I think this sets up well for Chicago to get off to a good start in what should be a low-scoring game, and I’ll take the Cubs in this matchup. Bet the first week of MLB for FREE by taking advantage of a 100% bonus offer at MyBookie! Simply deposit anywhere from $100 to $300 and they’ll match that deposit dollar for dollar! You must use this link to sign up for the special offer!
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