A full slate of games comes your way on Saturday and there aren’t a lot of great pitching matchups. We could have one down in Atlanta, where youngster Kyle Muller will do his best to go toe-to-toe with Cy Young hopeful Brandon Woodruff.
With Woodruff on the mound, the Brewers are a hefty favorite in the -140 range and the total sits at 9 with the offense that we’ve seen down in Georgia at Truist Park throughout the season. Bet this at 7:20 p.m. ET first pitch at BetOnline Sportsbook and get a 50% Deposit Match Bonus up to $1000 when you sign up through us.
The Brewers weren’t as active as some people probably would have liked at the Trade Deadline, but Eduardo Escobar is a nice upgrade to the offense and the Brewers bullpen should get a little bit of a boost from John Curtiss and Daniel Norris. If nothing else, the Brewers added more depth to their pitching staff.
If you look at the season as a whole, the Brewers have some pretty underwhelming offensive numbers. They went into Friday’s game against Atlanta ranked 18th in wOBA, but a big night on the basepaths should improve that number. Improvement has been the story for Milwaukee of late, as the Brewers have been one of the best offenses in baseball since the start of June. There is nothing fluky about a two-month, team-wide run like this.
The pitchers have to be thrilled to have some increased margin for error, not that guys like Brandon Woodruff need it all that often. Woodruff goes into this start with a 2.14 ERA and a 2.60 FIP in his 126 innings of work. With Jacob deGrom sidelined, Woodruff may have the inside track on the Cy Young if he can keep up his performance.
The 28-year-old right-hander has a 30.4% K% and a 6.4% BB%. He’s running a .227 BABIP against with a terrific Hard Hit% of 30%. It is extremely hard to reach base against him, as he showcases elite command and pairs it with a whole lot of swing and miss.
Milwaukee also boasts a deep bullpen and one that has had a light week. Friday’s game against Atlanta was close, so some of the key cogs got a workout, but three straight blowout wins against Pittsburgh combined with a couple of big wins and a loss to the White Sox last weekend have created some downtime for guys like Josh Hader. Devin Williams just returned from the IL a few days ago, so it has been nice to ease him back into rhythm as well.
The Braves seem to be taking the strategy of outhitting the opposition as the season plays out. Atlanta did not upgrade on the pitching side at all, with the exception of reliever Richard Rodriguez. Instead, the Braves added Adam Duvall and Jorge Soler as guys that will attempt to fill the void left by Ronald Acuna Jr.’s injury. Atlanta’s goal is to outslug teams and it might not be a bad idea with how offense has picked up in light of the foreign substance crackdown.
The Braves entered play on Friday just outside the top 10 in wOBA, but had a strong offensive showing and should be moving up the ranks. They could keep moving up the ranks, as they’ve added that new punch to the lineup and have a lot of guys capable of hitting for power.
Kyle Muller certainly wouldn’t mind getting some run support. The 23-year-old southpaw has been very good over his first 24.2 innings as a big leaguer with a 2.55 ERA and a 3.16 FIP. He has walked 13 batters in his five starts and one relief appearance, but has also struck out over a batter per inning with 26 whiffs.
In nine Triple-A starts, Muller has a 3.92 ERA and a 4.15 FIP with a lot of swing and miss, but also a high walk rate. The Brewers rank around the middle of the pack against southpaws, but do have the highest BB% in baseball at 10.9%, so Muller will have to find the strike zone if he wants to have success in this one.
Atlanta’s bullpen has been hit or miss throughout the season, but there have been a lot of misses in crucial situations. As a result, the team has not been over .500 at any point this season. Richard Rodriguez will help at the back end, but the Brewers have a distinct relief pitcher advantage in this one.
Brewers vs. Braves Free Pick
The total of 8.5 was rather low here for a game down in Atlanta, but the market bumped it up to 9. While Muller does issue a lot of walks, he also hasn’t allowed a lot of hits throughout his career. He seems like a pretty uncomfortable plate appearance with some good velocity and some really good raw stuff. Woodruff is elite, as we know, and that should keep the Braves in check.
Pick: Under 9