The Dodgers are looking to extend their season-best winning streak to 10 games tonight when they host the NL Central-leading Brewers. Both clubs have elite lefty pitchers on the mound, with Clayton Kershaw taking the ball for L.A. while Wade Miley starts for Milwaukee.
The Dodgers are unsurprisingly heavy betting favorites given their current streak and Kershaw on the mound. They have -250 moneyline odds, while the over/under is set at 8.5 runs. The prediction here is that the Dodgers win and the under hits.
Brewers vs. Dodgers Prediction
Starting pitchers: LHP Wade Miley (6-2, 2.90 ERA) vs. LHP Clayton Kershaw (10-4, 2.51 ERA)
Just how good have the Dodgers been in August? Forget the fact that they’ve only lost 1 game. Of their 126 innings played (14 games), they have only trailed in 13 (!!) of those innings, and have held the lead in 87 innings.
They are +52 in run differential this month and have won their 13 games by an average margin of 4.4 runs. They have won by at least 2 runs in 11 of their 13 victories.
Of course the Dodgers have been crushing just about every pitcher during this stretch, but they have been especially dangerous against lefties. They have an OPS of .963 and wOBA of .409 against lefties, compared to (admittedly still impressive) marks of .797 and .340 against righties.
Those types of splits have not been the case for L.A. for most of the season. They have been equally effective against both righties and lefties, hitting .255 with a .790 OPS and .339 wOBA against righties compared to .245 with an .806 OPS and .345 wOBA against lefties.
Part of the reason for the recent surge has been two trade deadline acquisitions: Amed Rosario (from Cleveland) and Kiké Hernández (from Boston). Rosario is hitting .277 with an .824 OPS since the trade while Hernández is hitting .321 with an .861 OPS. Both players are righties with favorable season and career splits against lefties.
That is bad news for Brewers starter Wade Miley, who already has one bad outing against the Dodgers this season. On May 10 he allowed 7 earned runs in 5 innings, the only start this season in which he’s allowed more than 4 runs.
It was also the only game this season in which he allowed more than 1 home run. Freddie Freeman, Will Smith and Miguel Vargas (currently in Triple-A) all went yard off him in that game.
Those are already plenty of reasons to like the Dodgers in this game, and we have yet to mention that future hall-of-famer Clayton Kershaw is starting for L.A. This will be Kershaw’s second start since returning from a 6-week stint on the IL with a sore throwing shoulder.
Kershaw pitched well in his last start, allowing 1 run on 3 hits in 5 innings, but he threw only 67 pitches. He will likely remain on a limited pitch count tonight as the Dodgers play it safe with the ace of their staff.
Milwaukee has been in the bottom third of the league offensively this season, but they have at least been hitting lefties well since the All-Star Break. They are hitting .259 with a .772 OPS and .329 wOBA against southpaws compared to .233 with a .668 OPS and .295 wOBA against righties.
We cannot in good conscience recommend picking Milwaukee to snap the Dodger’s 9-game winning streak with Kershaw on the mound. But the -250 moneyline odds on L.A. do not represent good value, so the suggested play here is Dodgers -1.5 at -112 odds. They will make it 12 out of 14 games winning by at least two runs.
Given the pitching matchup, we are also taking the under on 8.5 runs at -115 odds. Miley may have been shelled by L.A. earlier this year, but he is still one of the best pitchers in the league this season, and Clayton Kershaw is still Clayton Kershaw, even on a limited pitch count.
Brewers vs. Dodgers Prediction: Dodgers -1.5 (-112), under 8.5 runs (-115).
Brewers vs. Dodgers Odds
The Dodgers are heavy favorites in this game at -250 on the moneyline, while the Brewers are getting +205 moneyline odds.
The Dodgers are laying -1.5 runs on the spread at -112 odds, while the Brewers are getting +1.5 runs at -105 odds.
The over/under tonight is set at 8.5 runs with -105 odds on the over and -115 on the under. If you want to bet the over, you can get +105 odds at Caesars as of this writing.
Brewers vs. Dodgers Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide Brewers vs. Dodgers.
Wade Miley vs. Freddie Freeman
The Dodgers’ scorching hot bats, particularly against left-handed pitching, was one of the biggest reasons for the Dodgers -1.5 pick in our Brewers vs. Dodgers prediction.
Freddie Freeman has been leading the way for L.A. Since the All-Star Break, he leads the league with a .386 average and is 2nd in wOBA at .473. And that is after he has gone 0 for his last 11.
In 23 career at-bats against Wade Miley, Freeman is hitting .348 with 2 home runs. He will likely be one of only two lefties in the lineup against Miley tonight. Freeman has actually been better against lefties than righties this season, hitting .345 with a 1.098 OPS and .459 wOBA against southpaws.
While Miley’s career splits certainly favor matchups with left-handed hitters, his numbers this season are closer to even against righties and lefties. He is allowing a .235 average, .665 OPS and .293 wOBA against lefties compared to a .222 average, .671 OPS and .292 wOBA against righties. He does have a much better K/BB ratio (3.40 vs 1.89) and FIP (3.84 vs. 4.59) against lefties compared to righties.
Miley will have a tough enough time with the rest of the Dodgers’ powerful righty-heavy lineup. If he also struggles against Freeman, then it could be a short night for him and a long one for Brewers’ fans.
Both of these bullpens have been excellent since the All-Star Break. The Dodgers are 2nd in ERA (2.81) and 1st in wOBA (.268) allowed over that span, while the Brewers are 4th in ERA (3.21) and 2nd in wOBA (.275).
The quality of these two relief staffs makes the starting pitching performance that much more important. It will be tough for either club to stage a late-inning rally.
That also means that, in addition to the two strong starting pitchers, these bullpens should offer plenty of confidence in betting the under tonight.
Brewers vs. Dodgers Starting Lineups (Projected)
Brewers Starting Lineup
DH Christian Yelich (L)
C William Contreras (R)
1B Carlos Santana (S)
SS Willy Adames (R)
LF Mark Canha (R)
3B Andrus Monasterio (R)
RF Brian Anderson (R)
2B Brice Turang (L)
CF Tyrone Taylor (R)
Dodgers Starting Lineup
RF Mookie Betts (R)
1B Freddie Freeman (L)
C Will Smith (R)
DH J.D. Martinez (R)
2B Amed Rosario (R)
3B Max Muncy (L)
CF Kiké Hernández (R)
LF Chris Taylor (R)
SS Miguel Rojas (R)