The Dodgers opened their series against the Brewers by becoming the first team to 80 wins this season, and they’re looking to keep their momentum alive with Tony Gonsolin on the mound Wednesday. Milwaukee, now multiple games out, is struggling to climb back into a postseason spot. Is there any chance their struggling bats can get something going against Gonsolin?
Let’s take a look at starting lineups, betting odds, and predictions for Wednesday’s matchup.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Milwaukee Brewers Betting Odds
The Dodgers are decisive favorites at -164 on the moneyline, with the over/under set at 8 runs. The Brewers were shut out in the series opener on Monday, extending a problem that’s persisted for three years now: their offense simply isn’t good enough to beat great teams. It caught up to them against the Dodgers in the 2020 postseason, then again against the Braves in 2021, and it might keep them out of the postseason entirely this year.
While I don’t think Milwaukee will get swept in his 4-game series, they aren’t a great value against a pitcher as rock-solid as Gonsolin.
Los Angeles Dodgers Starting Lineup
RF M. Betts R
SS T. Turner R
1B F. Freeman L
C W. Smith R
3B J. Turner R
LF C. Taylor R
DH M. Muncy L
2B H. Alberto R
CF T. Thompson R
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Eric Lauer
Eric Lauer isn’t the most intimidating part of the Brewers’ rotation, but he’s been steady for nearly two full seasons now. Lauer has a 3.64 ERA across 21 starts (118.2 IP) this season, with a 4.68 FIP, 1.21 WHIP, and 116 strikeouts. Lauer’s FIP is an entire run higher than his ERA, but that was the case last season as well. Whether the metrics have him wrong or the Brewers’ defense has helped him out, it’s not a major concern.
A bigger concern is Lauer’s 1.7 HR/9 rate. Lauer has allowed 14 home runs over his 11 starts, a huge factor in his ERA dipping from 2.38 in early June to 3.64 entering Wednesday. He does a fine job of limiting hits, but the Dodgers can beat you both ways and have more than enough power bats to make Lauer’s life difficult.
You can’t go 23-4 over any 27-game stretch without both the offense and the pitching staff clicking. The Dodgers are batting near .280 with an OPS approaching .850 since the start of July, and the lineup hasn’t let up lately. While the usual suspects – Betts, Freeman, Turner – have been hitting well this month, some lower-profile names have carried the offense in recent days. Max Muncy has begun to finally do more than just walk, carrying a .393 AVG over his last 8 games, while Gavin Lux and Will Smith both have an OPS north of .950 over that span.
Walks have been an issue at times for Lauer, so Muncy and Freeman should see time on the basepaths, and there are more than enough power threats (including Cody Bellinger and Joey Gallo) to make Lauer’s home run issues persist.
Milwaukee Brewers Starting Lineup
LF C. Yelich L
SS W. Adames R
1B R. Tellez L
DH A. McCutchen R
RF H. Renfroe R
2B K. Wong L
3B L. Urias R
CF T. Taylor R
C V. Caratini S
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Tony Gonsolin
Tony Gonsolin probably won’t be the NL Cy Young winner in November, but he’s very much in line to get some down-ballot consideration. The 28-year-old is 14-1 with a sparkling 2.24 ERA through 21 starts (116.1 IP), plus a 3.47 FIP, 0.89 WHIP, and 105 strikeouts.
Gonsolin’s FIP indicates he’s probably due for some regression, plus his ERA at home is about half of what it is on the road, so it’s not a given that Milwaukee’s lineup is due for a tough day. Still, Gonsolin has allowed 2-or-fewer hits in a start just as often as he’s allowed 5+ hits. While he hit a rough patch in late July, Gonsolin seems to have settled back in and projects well against a shaky offense.
The Brewers posted a season-high .782 OPS in July, but they’re hitting just .213 with a .671 mark through 12 games in August. This lineup had nothing against Julio Urias on Monday, and while Ryan Pepiot may give them a break on Tuesday, Milwaukee’s .238 AVG probably doesn’t mesh well with Gonsolin’s NL-best WHIP. Gonsolin had some issues with walks in 2021 and walked 3 batters in his last start, so patience may be the Brewers’ best strategy; Christian Yelich and Hunter Renfroe both walk often.
No one has been hitting particularly well for Milwaukee of late. Yelich is just 3 for his last 29, while Rowdy Tellez is the Brewers’ only everyday player with multiple home runs over the last 8 games. With stringing together enough hits to make a difference very unlikely, a power outbreak is probably the Brewers’ best shot at taking this one from the Dodgers.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Milwaukee Brewers Picks & Prediction
My pick: Dodgers -1.5 / Under 7.5 Parlay (+430 on FanDuel)
I don’t feel strongly either way about the over/under, but the value here is too great not to take a close look. The Dodgers should win this one – they just need to do it on the back of a great start from Tony Gonsolin for the game to come in under 7.5 runs. Given how much of a mismatch Gonsolin and this Brewers lineup is, it’s worth a shot. Both of these pitchers limit hits; home runs might be the only threat.