Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Milwaukee Brewers

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Milwaukee Brewers | 2021 MLB Expert Analysis

Written by on March 23, 2021

The Los Angeles Dodgers remain the clear favorites on the MLB odds to repeat as World Series champions and L.A. is nearing the end of its Cactus League schedule as it visits Milwaukee on Tuesday from Arizona.

How to Bet Dodgers at Brewers MLB Odds & TV InfoWhy Bet on LA Dodgers? | 2021 MLB Expert Analysis

It is thought that the Dodgers will start Walker Buehler here, but he won’t go very deep as starting pitchers never do in spring training. r Buehler allowed one unearned run on five hits, one walk while striking out five vs the White Sox last Wednesday.

Buehler was in complete control this in four innings with his fastball sitting between 94-96 miles per hour. The right-hander sat down five in the contest, including blowing a fastball directly by Luis Robert. Giolito has now thrown 12 innings this spring with 11 strikeouts and should be in for a strong season as the Dodgers’ second ace behind Clayton Kershaw.

During an injury-riddled 2020 campaign, which saw him make two trips to the injured list due to a blister on his right hand, Buehler went 1-0 with a 3.44 ERA (14 ER/36.2 IP) and 42 strikeouts in eight starts. He limited the opposition to a .178 average and registered a 0.95 WHIP.

This offseason, Buehler avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $8 million contract. He got a $2 million signing bonus and salaries of $2.75 million in 2021 and $3.25 million in 2022. The deal also contains escalators which could make it more lucrative. Buehler was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter as a Super Two player, so he’ll have two more years of eligibility before hitting free agency.

Hard-throwing reliever Joe Kelly, who was sidelined early in camp with soreness, has yet to face live hitters this spring, and isn’t particularly close to doing so, after a 25-pitch bullpen session on Sunday. “He’s still trying to build arm strength, but the consistency of the throws is just not there,” Dave Roberts said. Kelly seems a likely candidate to open the season on the injured list.

Fellow reliever Tommy Kahnle hasn’t thrown in camp and is recovering from Tommy John surgery, so it’s a certainty he will open the season on the injured list.

Most of the Dodgers’ roster was set as they entered camp in mid-February. The Dodgers lost Joc Pederson in free agency, meaning the outfield workload will largely fall on Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger and AJ Pollock, although the club has plenty of versatile players who can fill in as needed.

Why Bet on Milwaukee? | 2021 MLB Expert Analysis

Brandon Woodruff was announced as the Opening Day starter for April. Minnesota. Woodruff will be the first Brewers pitcher to start on Opening Day in consecutive seasons since RHP Yovani Gallardo started a franchise-record five in a row from 2010-14.

Corbin Burnes will start the second game of the season and he’s expected to start this game. Burnes struck out four batters over 3 2/3 innings last Thursday in a Cactus League start against the Angels. Burnes was charged with an unearned run on a pair of hits and one walk. He’s allowed one run (zero earned) on two hits with a sparkling 11/2 K/BB ratio across 6 2/3 frames (three starts) this spring.

Burnes went 4-1 with a 2.11 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 59 2/3 innings to finish sixth in the Cy Young Award voting last regular season. Quite a change from 2019 when among the 191 National League pitchers with 40 or more innings in 2019, Burnes had the worst ERA (8.62) and second-worst WHIP (1.84).

Burnes made substantial changes in his arsenal between 2019 and 2020, with the major change being a significant decrease in the use of his 4-seam fastball and an increase in the use of the sinker and cutter. He also added a changeup. There was real improvement, but also a bit of luck with a much lower BABIP and significantly lower HR/FB rate. Burnes was very good in 2020, but not really 2.11 ERA good.

Milwaukee’s big free-agent signing this winter was former Red Sox Gold Glove outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. This spring, he is prioritizing using the entire field at the plate moving forward. Bradley Jr, who inked a two-year, $24 million contract with the Brewers earlier this month, showed some signs of real progress at the plate, hitting .326/.423/.562 over the final month of the truncated 2020 campaign to finish with an .814 OPS, his highest single-season mark since 2016.

The Brewers currently have 37 players in Major League camp, including 19 pitchers, 3 catchers, 8 infielders and 7 outfielders. There are 6 non-roster invitees, including 4 pitchers and 2 infielders.

Expert Prediction
  • Dodgers 5, Brewers 4
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