The Milwaukee Braves need a pitcher – but they’re still the smart choice for your Wednesday MLB picks when they visit the Chicago Cubs.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago Cubs
Wednesday, June 01, 2022 – 08:05 PM EDT at Wrigley Field
Woodruff in the Injured List
Brandon Woodruff would normally be starting Wednesday night for the Milwaukee Brewers, but he was put on the 15-day injured list after getting the early hook from his last start. Diagnosis: high right ankle sprain.
This is a serious problem for online sportsbooks. Woodruff (3.82 FIP) has pitched well for the Brewers, and as we go to press late Tuesday night, they have yet to decide on a fill-in for Wednesday’s series finale versus the Chicago Cubs.
The MLB odds are still pending as a result. We’re not going to let that stop us here at the home office.
Milwaukee Undecided Starter
Despite not knowing the identity of Milwaukee’s starter, we can say with some degree of confidence that the Brewers will have the pitching advantage in this matchup.
And our old-school department says Milwaukee should have the “small market” advantage over the Cubbies as well.
Put those together, factor in how the Brewers have been destroying Chicago’s pitchers in this series, and we’re happy to put out an early recommendation on Milwaukee for your betting picks.
Adjust your expectations accordingly when Wednesday’s starters are announced.
Who’s Starting for the Cubs?
You might know Milwaukee’s decision by the time you read this; meanwhile, we do know that the Cubs have Kyle Hendricks (5.63 FIP) penciled in to start Wednesday, and FiveThirtyEight have Hendricks rated 10 Elo points worse than a generic Milwaukee placeholder.
Hendricks Performance Recap
It’s been a rough road for Hendricks the past couple of years. Everything went south for this talented northpaw right about the same time the powers that be started cracking down on stickum.
The balls themselves have been crap, too, but Hendricks has seen his sinker and his changeup turn from awesome to eminently hittable.
That’s not the only reason the Cubs have struggled this season – but it’s a big one.
And yet Hendricks has them 1.27 betting units in the black on a team record of 5-5, with the Under checking in at 5-3-2.
That includes win and a loss against the Brewers (Over 1-0-1); Hendricks allowed a combined seven runs in 9.2 innings of work.
Chicago’s Bullpen Must Be Good, Right?
Yes, you’ve deduced the secret to Hendricks’s “success” thus far. While he’s been hot and cold – mostly the latter – the Cubs relievers have picked him up by converting all three of his no-decisions into victories, including their 5-4 win over Milwaukee (–166 away) on April 7.
It’s no surprise, then, that the Cubs find themselves ranked ninth overall (plus-1.4 WAR) on the bullpen charts at FanGraphs.
But look up... waaaaay up... and there are the Brewers in the first place (plus-3.2 WAR). That’s why their generic placeholder rates are almost a half-run better than Hendricks at FiveThirtyEight.
It’s also why the Brewers were able to take the first two games of this four-game set.
They won both ends of Monday’s doubleheader thanks to timely relief and clutch hitting; Milwaukee’s bullpen had extra work to do in the opener to support prospect Ethan Small in his MLB debut, but their 6.1 innings led to a 7-6 victory as –133 road dogs at Wrigley.
Maybe that workload has had a knock-off effect, though. After beating the Cubs 3-1 in the nightcap and cashing in at –126 (while eating up another three bullpen innings), the Brewers got lit up on Tuesday, spoiling four good innings from Eric Lauer and losing 8-7 at the same –126 price on the MLB lines.
This will only cut into their options for Wednesday’s matchup.
Is Kolten Wong Playing for Milwaukee?
Perhaps. Wong (.672 OPS) has had good years and bad years since joining the majors in 2013 with the St. Louis Cardinals; 2022 has definitely been a bad year, and it got worse Monday when Wong took a pitch off his right calf and had to leave the nightcap.
Keston Hiura (.831 OPS) filled in at second base Tuesday and went 0-for-2 with a walk, a stolen base and a run.
This could be a blessing in disguise for Milwaukee – and yet another reason to put them in your baseball picks.
Wong vs. Hiura: Who to Bet On?
Hiura is their second baseman of the future, the ninth overall pick in 2017 and gifted with a rare blend of hitting and power.
Wong is listed as day-to-day, but if he’s unavailable Wednesday, the future is now for Hiura.
With that in mind, we’re also going to put out an early recommendation for the over, although that has more to do with Hendricks and the warmer June temperatures than it does with Hiura.
Bet accordingly once the starters are announced, and may the sphere be with you.
MLB Pick: Over 8 (-105) with Bovada
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.