Cubs vs. Brewers MLB Preview

Freddy Peralta #51 of the Milwaukee Brewers on April 06, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.   Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images/AFP

Freddy Peralta #51 of the Milwaukee Brewers on April 06, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images/AFP

Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers

Monday, April 12, 2020 – 7:40 PM ET at American Family Field

 

Probable Pitchers

  • Cubs: Adbert Alzolay (0-1, 7.20 ERA)
  • Brewers: Freddy Peralta (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

 

Stakes of the Matchup

With only nine games played amongst NL Central teams, the divisional championship picture is clear. There are two tiers in the NL Central. The bottom tier is occupied by the Pittsburgh Pirates who are the worst team in the league. The top tier is occupied by the rest of the division. All four teams in the NL Central have a plausible path to winning the division and making the playoffs.

The Cincinnati Reds are in first place with a 6-3 record. The preseason betting favorite St. Louis Cardinals are tied for second place with a 5-4 record. Also tied for second place are the Milwaukee Brewers with a 5-4 record with the Chicago Cubs are only one game behind with a 4-5 record.

The public perception of the Cubs is that they are rebuilding, but the perception is not the reality now. The Cubbies have a strong lineup, and they have a chance of winning the division. The Brewers have a decent lineup, strong fielding, and strong pitching. The odds reflect how close this matchup is by making Milwaukee slight favorites to win.

 

Pitching Matchup

The Brewers have a clear edge in starting pitching against the Cubs. The starting pitcher for Milwaukee is Freddy Peralta who quietly is one of the most exciting pitchers in baseball. In seven innings this season, Peralta has yet to allow an earned run. Last year as a reliever, Peralta pitched 29 1/3 innings and had a 3.99 ERA and a 3.23 xFIP. While Peralta’s ERA was low, when you adjusted it for stadium effects and fielding his ERA should have been lower. Even in 2019 when Peralta had a 5.29 ERA, we had a 4.15 xFIP.

Peralta was unlucky in the last two seasons, but this season it appears that he is reverting to the mean.

The larger issue for Peralta is stamina. In the past Peralta has mainly been a long reliever who in the rare game where he started, would be a short inning starter. This season in Peralta’s lone start, he pitched for only five innings despite allowing only one hit. However, Milwaukee has a strong bullpen and Peralta is a power pitcher who can get out of jams with strikeouts.

Opposing Peralta is Cubs starting pitcher Adbert Alzolay. Despite being a 26-year-old in his third MLB season, Alzolay has only 38 2/3 innings of experience and is still considered a rookie. In his lone start this year, Alzolay pitched for only five innings and allowed four earned runs, two home runs, four hits, and two walks. While Alzolay is a highly touted Cubs prospect, it is unclear if he made the rotation because he is ready or because they needed arms. Alzolay may be better suited in the bullpen and that is what makes the Cubs vulnerable in Monday night’s game.

 

Prediction

Both teams are evenly matched, but the Brewers are the slightly better team. There is merit to making the Brewers full game moneyline, but in my opinion the Brewers first five innings moneyline is the best bet.

The Cubs starting pitcher is very vulnerable and that is why the Brewers have a bigger edge at the beginning of the game than the end. Additionally, the top of the Brewers lineup including OF Cristian Yelich will receive a higher percentage of plate appearances at the beginning of the game than for the whole game.

Against a promising starting pitcher in Freddy Peralta for Milwaukee that might not pitch more than five innings, the Milwaukee first five innings moneyline is the best way to take advantage of his talents.

 

MLB Pick: Milwaukee Brewers First Five Innings Moneyline -125 at BetMGM

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