Arizona Diamondbacks Vs. Milwaukee Brewers: Predictions, Odds, Best Bets, Starting Lineups (10/3/23)
With the regular season finally wrapped up, we’re so close to the end of the adventure we embarked on back in March, but the most important moments still lie ahead. For the Diamondbacks, this marks their first postseason appearance since 2017, a relative surprise for the club, while Brew Crew are no strangers to October. Let’s get into our breakdown for game one of this Wild Card series, where my prediction is for the Brewers to cover a spread of -1.5 runs.
Diamondbacks Vs. Brewers Prediction
In year two of the Wild Card series, we’re still learning a lot about these series, but we certainly have a better idea of what to expect than we did a year ago. For instance, three of the four series last season turned out to be sweeps, but only one higher seed made good use of their home field advantage. In this pairing, it’s hard to imagine a sweep; the Diamondbacks won this season series by a count of 4-2, but the Brewers hold home field advantage and should have a raucous Miller Park on their side.
The Diamondbacks also have not managed to line up their starting rotation the way you’d imagine they’d have liked to. Regular Cy Young contender Zac Gallen and breakout arm Merrill Kelly would be the logical 1-2 punch to start off the postseason, as they are a very solid pairing to anchor any rotation. Alas, the D-Backs had to fight up to the very last pitch of the year for their postseason spot, and weren’t able to give either of those guys the rest they needed to be ready for the series opener, and will pitch games 2 and 3 if both are necessary.
Instead, the Brewers will face rookie Brandon Pfaadt, who did not pitch against them in any of those six regular season meetings between the two clubs. He had an awful first couple of starts in the bigs, but has settled down a good bit as of late. That being said, he’s not necessarily a postseason-ready arm, and definitely not the higher-caliber starter with Burnes on the other side, giving his team an immediate disadvantage to kick off the playoffs.
I’m a big fan of betting totals in baseball; often, it’s easier to predict the flow of a game based on the pitching matchups against the offenses rather than identify who will get that key bounce to win a close game. But in this one, that’s not the right approach, with Pfaadt such a wild card. Will he shine against a mediocre Milwaukee offense, or will the moment get to him just a bit too much?
It’s hard to say, but either way he’s not likely to match Burnes, who will bring veteran know-how to a matchup with an inexperienced Arizona lineup. He was excellent in his one and only postseason start against the eventual-champion Braves in 2021, a much tougher lineup than this one. Arizona will have a great chance to make this a series with Gallen and potentially Kelly coming up, but with an ace taking the mound against a rookie, this is a no-brainer; Brewers on the spread.
Diamondbacks Vs. Brewers Prediction: Brewers -1.5 (+115)
Diamondbacks Vs. Brewers Odds
The Brewers are home favorites at -185 on the moneyline and +115 to cover a spread of -1.5. The Diamondbacks are +150 to win, and -135 to cover that run line. For a total of 8 runs, you can bet either side at -110.
Diamondbacks Vs. Brewers Key Matchups
With a superstar on one side and a rookie on the other, there will be different things to look out for in each half of the inning, so let’s dive right into breaking down some matchups between Burnes, Pfaadt, and each lineup.
Corbin Burnes Vs. Disciplined Batters
It’s really tough to find a significant gap in Burnes’s game, as he has a well-earned reputation as one of the NL’s very best. Burnes had the best WHIP in the NL with a figure of 1.069, so you’d imagine that his overall profile looks outstanding, but there are a couple of minor trends we can zero in on. His walks are up from last year and his strikeouts down, and that walk rate is also one of the few corners of his statcast profile that isn’t outstanding.
He also doesn’t get tons of whiffs or chases as his hallmark is forcing weak contact, so batters who have exceptional discipline at the plate are going to be a relative kryptonite. Corbin Carroll led the Diamondbacks with an OBP of .362, but Ketel Marte was right behind with a mark of .358. Marte was the team’s walk leader with his total of 71 outpacing Geraldo Perdomo’s 64 and Christian Walker’s 62. This lineup has some threats but Burnes should be fine, a major reason I have his team covering the -1.5 spread in my Diamondbacks vs. Brewers prediction.
Brandon Pfaadt Vs. Hard Hitters
Unlike many rookies, Pfaadt didn’t have much of a walk problem, he just gave up tons of solid contact as he allowed over 10 hits and two homers per nine innings of work. Let’s get into guys in the Milwaukee lineup who put the ball play, and do it with some intent
William Contreras leads the team with a slugging percentage of .459, and has an 87th percentile hard hit rate. Christian Yelich is right behind him in terms of slugging, and hits the ball even harder with a 93rd percentile hard hit rate, and 86th percentile average exit velocity. Willy Adames is a long ball threat with a barrel rate in the 82nd percentile, and a team-high 24 homers, so he’s one more dangerous bat with which Pfaadt will have to contend in a tough Milwaukee lineup.
Diamondbacks Vs. Brewers Starting Lineups
Diamondbacks Starting Lineup
RF C. Carroll L
2B K. Marte S
DH T. Pham R
1B C. Walker R
CF A. Thomas L
LF L. Gurriel R
C G. Moreno R
3B J. Peterson L
SS G. Perdomo S
Brewers Starting Lineup
LF C. Yelich L
C W. Contreras R
1B C. Santana S
RF M. Canha R
CF S. Frelick L
SS W. Adames R
3B J. Donaldson R
DH R. Tellez L
2B B. Turang L