The return of baseball was worth the wait for Cubs fans on Friday night as Kyle Hendricks carved up the Brewers in a complete game shutout performance. After cashing as a small favorite in the opener, they look to solidify a series victory as a big favorite over the Brewers when the two teams meet early this afternoon.
With that out of the way, let’s get into our Cubs vs. Brewers betting preview, complete with odds and predictions.
Cubs vs. Brewers Odds
Let’s take a look at the current Cubs vs. Brewers odds at BetRivers.
Friday, July 25, 12:05 PM CDT (Yu Darvish vs. Corbin Burnes)
• BetRivers Sportsbook: Cubs (-155)/Brewers (+135); Over/Under N/A at post time
Note: Cubs vs. Brewers odds are subject to change prior to game time. These odds are as of 7:45 am CDT.
After closing as only a slight favorite last night, the Cubs-Brewers odds feature a heavier split for this afternoon’s contest. Some of the current price has to do with Yu Darvish being on the mound for the Cubs, while some of it has to do with Corbin Burnes being on the mound for the Brewers. More on that in just a moment.
Cubs vs. Brewers Prediction and Pick
The Pitching Matchup
It’s all about who’s on the bump. The Cubs enter this one with what at first glance appears to be a decided pitching advantage. Let’s take a closer look.
It was an up and down season in 2019 for Yu Darvish, who went 6-8 with a 3.98 ERA. Actually, it was a down and up season. Following a first half in which he went 2-4 with a 5.01 ERA, Darvish rebounded in the second half by going 4-4 with a 2.76 ERA in 81.2 IP. Perhaps even more impressive was his 118 strikeouts and only seven walks during that stretch.
Moreover, he was simply outstanding against the Brewers in two starts in 2019, yielding just one earned run over two starts (10 IP), while allowing just nine total baserunners and striking out 15.
Darvish will be opposed by Corbin Burnes, who will start in place of the injured Brett Anderson. Burnes was only 1-5 with an 8.82 ERA in 2019. Notably, he yielded three homers to the Cubs last April in an eventual 14-8 loss. After a promising season in which Burnes went 7-0 as a 23-year-old in 2018, last season was an unmitigated disaster. He yielded also yielded staggering 11 homers in his first four starts a season ago. Still, he possess plus-stuff and the reports out of Milwaukee is that he’s been extremely impressive in camp.
Despite Milwaukee’s potent lineup, most bettors will likely be inclined to side with the home team given what appears to be the Cubs’ distinct pitching advantage.
Betting Notes to Know
Here are some notes to consider as you evaluate the Cubs vs. Brewers odds and make your picks.
⇒ The Cubs were a good home favorite last season. They went 47-26 overall, which turned bettors a $525 profit. Meanwhile, the Brewers were only 18-25 as a road underdog (-$209).
⇒ Dating back to the start of the 2016 season, the Cubs are 100-66 as a home favorite during games that begin between 12pm and 3pm, but because of heavy moneylines, this has been an unprofitable scenario, one that has lost bettors $-761 in that timeframe. Last season, the Cubs were 24-16 during early starts, netting bettors $5.
⇒ Here’s a troubling trend. Since the start of 2016, the Cubs are only 10-13 as a favorite between -140 and -160 in early starts.
⇒ The Cubs are 29-19 as a home favorite against the Brewers dating back to the 2015 season, which has been an unprofitable -$168.
⇒ The Cubs are only 9-9 as a favorite in home games started by Yu Darvish since he joined Chicago. They were 8-7 a season ago. Overall, the Cubs are 16-16 as a favorite in games started by Darvish. As you can imagine, this has been a fairly unprofitable proposition (-$477).
⇒ The Brewers were 16-22 on the road following a loss last season, and 8-14 following a loss of at least three runs. The Cubs, meanwhile, were 34-18 at home following a win and 21-11 following a win of at least three runs.
Cubs vs. Brewers Pick
We hedged yesterday with a lean on Chicago but didn’t lock in the pick. However, that Kyle Hendricks OVER 4.5 strikeouts was over quickly.
As for today, the Cubs would certainly seem to have the pitching advantage with Darvish on the mound. I’m a little bit wary of the team’s overall performance in his starts as a favorite, and I also believe Burnes is poised to take a big step forward this season. Still, given Darvish’s numbers against the Brewers a year ago, paired with the fact that Milwaukee simply wasn’t a very good road team. They also didn’t bounce back well from shutouts, going only 3-5 last season.
Cubs vs. Brewers Prediction: I’ll take the Cubs and lay the -155.