This series is incredibly important going forward in the NL Wild Card race, as the Cubs are four games ahead of the Brewers for the final playoff spot. The Cubs just completed a three-game sweep of the Mets, which was needed, considering the Nationals swept them in the previous three games. While the Cubs are in a better position at the moment, the Brewers find themselves falling further out of the playoff race with a 4-6 record over the last 10 games.
Moneyline – Brewers @ Cubs (-140)
The Cubs’ moneyline hasn’t moved much since the open, and there’s a possibility we could see some money move in the Brewers’ direction before first pitch. The Cubs did play in New York last night while the Brewers had yesterday off – that could come into play for today’s early afternoon game.
Brewers Betting Form
Chase Anderson gets the ball for the Brewers in the opener of their biggest series of the season. Things have mostly been going well for him, allowing two runs or fewer in eight of his last 10 outings. Friday afternoon’s matchup against the Cubs is going to be a dubious one, considering they just beat up on some of the best pitching the National League has to offer.
The Brewers’ offense has done well against today’s opposing pitcher, so they do have that going for them. Milwaukee does need to get back on the good foot, though, scoring four runs or fewer in each of the last five games. This could be just the thing they need.
Cubs Betting Form
It’s tough to get a read on Jose Quintana, considering he’s been rocked by the Brewers this season, allowing 23 hits/8 walks (1.53 WHIP) and 16 runs (7.08 ERA) in 20 1/3 innings of work – his last outing didn’t go that well either, allowing seven hits and five runs (four earned) over four innings against… oddly enough, the Nationals. On the other hand, the Nationals are one of the best teams against left-handed pitching and Quintana has a 3-1 record and 2.40 ERA in the month of August.
The Cubs’ offense looked great over these last three games, doing quite well against Marcus Stroman, Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom – now Anderson should seem like a pitching machine.
Betting Pick: Over 9
Both of these starting pitchers have vulnerabilities in some fashion, whether it’s a recency bias or history against one another. However, the key to this total going over is going to be the Cubs’ offense back in their home ballpark. After the last few days they’ve had, it should be very tough to keep them off the base paths.
New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies
Time: 7:05 p.m. EST
NYM: Zack Wheeler – R (9-7, 4.46 ERA/1.27 WHIP)
PHI: Aaron Nola – R (12-4, 3.53 ERA/1.22 WHIP)
The Mets will make the quick trip down I-95 to take on the Phillies in an NL East battle, and possibly save their season in the process. It won’t be easy, though, as the Phils will have their ace on the mound. Philly will also be looking to save its season, sitting 2.5 games behind the Cubs for the second NL Wild Card spot. The games between these two teams tend to be quite exciting, especially at Citizens Bank Park.
Moneyline – Mets @ Phillies (-130)
A lot of the early public money has come in on the Mets, causing the line to drop from -149 to -134. That makes no sense at all, considering the pitching matchup in this one.
Mets Betting Form
After a good string of outings, Zack Wheeler has struggled quite a bit in his last three starts. Over that span of 16 innings, the right-hander has allowed 21 hits/7 walks (1.75 WHIP) and 14 runs. The Phillies broke out in a big way on Wednesday night, scoring 12 runs against the Pirates, so Wheeler will certainly need to be at his best.
The Mets’ offense hasn’t been at its best lately, and now they’re taking on one of the best pitchers in baseball. Optimism is not one of the feelings we should have for these guys tonight.
Phillies Betting Form
Aaron Nola takes the mound for Philly in his favorite spot on the planet – Citizens Bank Park. Since 2018, the right-hander has a 16-3 record to go along with a 2.62 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 33 starts. This season against the Mets, Nola is 1-0 with a 3.06 ERA in three starts.
The Phils’ offense looked great in their most recent game, and it’d be great for their playoff chances if they can keep that going tonight. Wheeler’s recent form makes it look as if Philly will continue on its offensively prolific ways. After all, they are averaging 7.3 runs per game over the last week.
Betting Pick: Phillies (-130)
There’s just too much value on the Phillies with their ace on the mound at home. Not to mention, the Mets have lost six straight games and can’t seem to get out of their own way right now.
Oakland Athletics at New York Yankees
Time: 7:05 p.m. EST
OAK: Brett Anderson – L (10-9, 4.08 ERA/1.30 WHIP)
NYY: CC Sabathia – L (5-8, 4.99 ERA/1.41 WHIP)
Two of the American League’s best teams do battle in The Bronx this evening. The Yankees own MLB’s best record while the A’s have a one-game lead for the second AL Wild Card spot. In fact, these two teams met last week and the A’s swept the three-game series.
Moneyline – Athletics @ Yankees (-140)
There hasn’t been much line movement since the open, but it seems like this moneyline is in the right spot. When the Yankees traveled to Oakland last week, they were either small favorites or small underdogs. Now that they’re at home, it makes plenty of sense that they’ve elevated to sizeable favorites in this matchup.
Athletics Betting Form
Brett Anderson is a very mediocre pitcher, but he’s facing a very elite offense in an extreme hitter’s park. Some of his luck is starting to run out against better offenses he’s faced lately, and that could certainly be the case once again – maybe even more so. Control issues have also plagued Anderson of late, as he’s allowed seven walks in his last 11 innings of work.
The A’s offense should be able to help Anderson, especially facing a left-handed pitcher. They’ll have to do their work early on offense since the Yankees have one of the best bullpens in baseball.
Yankees Betting Form
This probably won’t go well for the CC Sabathia, considering his recent form of rapidly trending downward. In fact, the left-hander has allowed 10 homers in his last 21 1/3 innings of work and health has been a bit of an issue as the season is coming down the stretch.
The Yankees’ offense got back on track after that series in Oakland in their trips to Los Angeles and Seattle. Their numbers against lefties have been a thing of beauty, and especially of late, doing big things against pitchers like Hyun-Jin Ryu and Clayton Kershaw last weekend. Now that Anderson is on the mound, we should expect much bigger things.
Betting Pick: Over 11
It’s tough to decipher which starting pitcher will have the better day – because it very well might not be either one of them. Both of these teams have some of the best-advanced metrics in MLB against left-handed pitching. In such a small ballpark like Yankee Stadium, that’s a recipe for offensive success and a winning bet.
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