Brewers vs. Cubs Odds
|Time||Tuesday, 7:40 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Tuesday morning and via PointsBet.|
On Tuesday, the Chicago Cubs host the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field. It is perceived that the Cubs are rebuilding this season, but their roster looks similar to the past few years. In contrast to Chicago, Milwaukee is a contending team that has a fighting chance to win the National League Central.
For Tuesday’s matchup, both teams are relying on the back of their rotation. As a result, the game is appropriately priced as a tossup and my model only finds a slight edge with the Brewers moneyline at -105.
Let’s find out where the value lies in this matchup:
The key to Milwaukee performing better this season lies in how well its lineup produces runs. Last year, the Brewers averaged only 4.02 runs per game, which was the fourth-lowest in all of baseball. Despite a poorly performing lineup, Milwaukee managed a 29-31 record.
One reason why the Brewers’ lineup did not do well last season was because former MVP Cristian Yelich had a bad season. Yelich had a 63 wRC+ last year during the shortened season, meaning he produced only 63% of the amount of runs that a typical MLB player produces. I believe Yelich will perform much better this year as evidenced by how well he has performed in the past. For the 2021 season, FanGraphs projects Yelich to have a 129 wRC+ and PECOTA projects 135.
Outside of Yelich, the Brewers’ lineup is well-rounded with average offensive talent and that should provide the pitching staff with enough run support.
The starting pitcher on Tuesday night for Milwaukee will be Freddy Peralta, who is a borderline long reliever/short starter. While I expect Peralta to only pitch four innings on Tuesday, out of all the Brewers starters, I only project Brandon Woodruff to have a lower ERA this season. My optimism on Peralta’s performance this year is why my model prefers a theoretical Brewers five inning moneyline over the full game.
The Cubs are getting a bad rap from the betting public as their win total was set at only 78.5 wins by DraftKings before the season started. While the win total was set low under the rationale that the Cubs might do a fire sale this season, they’re a borderline playoff team if they keep the roster intact all season.
There will be plenty of great spots to bet on Chicago this season, particularly against the Cardinals. However, Tuesday’s game will not be one of those.
While the Cubs’ lineup is strong, their starting pitcher for Tuesday’s game, Adbert Alzolay, is unreliable.
Alzolay is 26 years old and has only pitched 33 2/3 innings in his short major-league career. Last year, he had a 2.95 ERA and 3.62 xFIP. However, PECOTA and FanGraphs project Alzolay to have an ERA between 4.35 and 5.05 in 2021.
The Cubs and the Brewers are evenly matched. While this is accurately reflected in the full game odds, the Brewers have an edge for the first five innings with Peralta.
Against an unseasoned talent in Alzolay, I believe that the Brewers should easily be ahead at the end of the fifth inning.
Pick: Brewers — First Five Innings ML (-110). Play up to -115.
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