It’s a beautiful day for baseball. And by that, I mean Happy Yusei Kikuchi Day. We’ve been fading him in virtually all his starts, and it’s been fun. Why not run it back on the road against the Brewers?
Milwaukee has the 10th ranked offense vs. Left-Handed Pitching (LHP) in the last 14 days as measured by the wRC+ statistic. I fully expect them to score plenty of runs off Kikuchi but rather than wager on the Team Total, I prefer a bet that the Brewers will win the First Five Innings. If they score plenty of runs, this should settle as a sweat-free cash; but even if they don’t, I still think we could win. That’s because…
Cy Young hopeful Corbin Burnes is pitching for Milwaukee today, and he’s been electric, holding opponents to 2 or fewer earned runs in 11 of his 14 starts. That performance has caught Oddsmakers’ attention, as Burnes has the 2nd shortest odds to win the Cy Young award (+550) behind only Sandy Alcantra (+270) of the Miami Marlins.
The Blue Jays are just 4-9 when Yusei Kikuchi starts. This compares to a 6-2 record in Milwaukee’s last 8 when Corbin Burnes starts. Burnes is coming off his 2nd best start of the year – a 2 hit, shutout performance vs. a strong St. Louis Cardinals offense. Meanwhile, Kikuchi has allowed 3+ earned runs in 4 straight starts.
I prefer to target odds closer to the -110 range, but I’m making an exception here for reasons stated above. I’m laying the juice with a bet on the Brewers to win the First Five Innings @ -135.
The Pick: Brewers -0.5 (F5) (-135) vs. Blue Jays