Yelich, Milwaukee Will Brew Up a Winner in NLCS Game 1

Willie Bee

Thursday, October 11, 2018 12:37 PM UTC

Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018 12:37 PM UTC

Overlooked by most experts all season and underdogs on the MLB odds in the NLCS opener against the Dodgers, our handicapper likes the Brewers in Game 1.

Season Record: 88-89-1 (+7.85 units)


LA Dodgers (95-72 SU, 77-82 O/U) at Milwaukee (99-67 SU, 79-84 O/U)Friday, 8:09 p.m. ET (FS1)Free MLB Pick: Brewers MLBest Line Offered: 5Dimes

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Just about everyone’s expectations for Milwaukee this year fell short, beginning with the fine folks setting the MLB futures who had the Brewers third in the NL Central behind the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals. So, why should the Los Angeles Dodgers be any different when the clubs collide in the NLCS?

Milwaukee welcomes Los Angeles to Miller Park for Game 1 on Friday, and while Brewers skipper Craig Counsell has yet to officially name his starting pitcher, some wagering outlets are already posting numbers for the contest. BetOnline has thrown out a -150 price on the Dodgers who send Clayton Kershaw (10-5, 2.60) to the mound following an outstanding performance in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves.

Getting To Kershaw Early A Key For Brew Crew

Kershaw split his two starts against Milwaukee during the regular season, so the Brewers already know they can beat the LA ace. Counsell’s Crew even spotted Kershaw and the Dodgers a 2-0 lead in the first in the game they won at Miller Park just after the All-Star Game, coming back for the 4-2 decision with similar numbers on the baseball odds board as we’re seeing Friday thanks in part to some shoddy Los Angeles defense.

Milwaukee has a couple of sticks in its lineup that aren’t going to be awed to see Kershaw on the mound. Ryan Braun has faced the LA lefty more than any other Brewers batter, and has a respectable .289 (11-38) average with a homer against Kershaw. You can throw the lefty-on-lefty book out the window when it comes to Christian Yelich’s history with Kershaw; Yelich is hitting .529 (9-17) in their battles, swatting two homers with one of those coming in Milwaukee’s July win vs. Kershaw and the Dodgers.

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Next Up: @Dodgers. See you Friday.

The series will open at Miller Park and Game 1 of the NLCS has been slated for 7pm CT. #OurCrewOurOctober pic.twitter.com/cbMDaB2hCv

— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) 9 de outubro de 2018
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Brewers Relief Corps Rested & Ready

Most expect Counsell to give the ball to Jhoulys Chacin (16-8, 3.41), and the righthander is coming off a gem of his own in the NLDS sweep of the Colorado Rockies. The Venezuelan did get knocked around by the Dodgers on the road in his only appearance against them this season, but Chacin still possesses one of the best sliders in the game and the Brewers went 8-5 in his 13 Miller Park assignments this season. Counsell just needs 4-5 innings from Chacin before turning the game over to his bullpen, headlined by Josh Hader and his nasty repertoire.

(Update: In a surprise move, it's lefty Gio Gonzalez for Game 1. He didn't pitch at all in the NLDS and had a 4.21 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 171 regular-season innings between the Nationals and Brewers.)

And just in case the Brewers need a little bulletin board material to fire them up, they got it from LA’s Yasiel Puig and his "a hundred percent sure" the Dodgers are headed back to the World Series comment. Milwaukee is my free MLB pick for Friday’s NLCS opener.

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