The Milwaukee Brewers will travel to take on the Chicago Cubs in an MLB Opening Day matchup at Wrigley Field on Thursday afternoon. With that said, it’s a good time to check out our MLB odds series, which includes a Brewers-Cubs prediction and pick, laid out below.
Milwaukee narrowly missed the playoffs last season, going 86-76, falling just one game short of the final Wild Card spot. Some underperforming stars are likely the reason to point to the disappointing end. A strong pitching staff is the strength of this squad.
Chicago finished in third place in the NL Central, going 74-88 in 2022. Now squarely in the middle of their rebuild, the Cubs are slowly climbing out of their hole. There is a chance this team is ready to compete this season after adding some interesting veterans.
Here are the Brewers-Cubs MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Brewers-Cubs Odds
Milwaukee Brewers: -1.5 (+116)
Chicago Cubs: +1.5 (-140)
Over: 7.5 (-102)
Under: 7.5 (-120)
How To Watch Brewers vs. Cubs
TV: Bally Sports Wisconsin, Marquee Sports Network
Time: 2:20 PM ET/11:20 AM PT
*Watch MLB games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Brewers Could Cover The Spread
Christian Yelich has endured a bit of a power outage the last two seasons, combining for just 23 home runs. Still, Yelich has found other ways to be productive, hitting 25 doubles and stealing 19 bases last season, good for a 2.7 bWAR. Jesse Winker is a huge addition to the lineup, another powerful lefty bat in the outfield. In an All-Star 2021 season, Winker belted 24 home runs in just 110 games.
Fellow slugger Luke Voit won the first base job in spring training, forcing out former first round pick Keston Hiura. Voit will provide a huge right-handed presence in the lineup. Last time he was healthy in 2019, Brian Anderson hit 20 home runs and 33 doubles, and is a bounce back candidate with improved health. Willy Adames set a career high with 31 home runs last season, riding his strong offense to a 4.4 bWAR.
Corbin Burnes, fresh off some offseason arbitration drama, will be the starting pitcher for Milwaukee. Burnes pitched to a 2.94 ERA and led the NL with 243 strikeouts in 202.0 innings. Burnes will be heading for a huge payday after the 2024 season, as a bonafide ace and top five starter in the league. Closer Devin Williams has one of the game’s most dominant pitches in his disappearing changeup. Williams struck out 96 batters across 60.2 innings, with a 1.93 ERA.
Why The Cubs Could Cover The Spread
Chicago’s offense received an upgrade in the presence of Dansby Swanson. Swanson was signed to a lucrative contract after his time in Atlanta. In 2022, Swanson played in all 162 games, hitting 25 home runs while providing elite defense. Ian Happ took a huge step forward last season, hitting .271 with 17 home runs and 42 doubles, earning his first All-Star nod. The switch-hitter is heading into his final year of team control.
Cody Bellinger has been brutal since winning the 2020 NL MVP, but at least can provide stellar defense in the outfield. Bellinger may receive some benefit from the new shift rules. Trey Mancini was signed to provide some right-handed power, hitting 39 home runs combined in the last two seasons.
Marcus Stroman, last season’s de facto ace, will be the Opening Day starter. Stroman started 25 games last season, pitching to a 3.50 ERA in 138.2 innings. Since 2019, Stroman has quietly put together great seasons, never finishing with an ERA above 3.50. Michael Fulmer was acquired in the offseason to possibly close some games. In 617.0 career innings, Fulmer owns a 3.89 ERA with 17 saves.
Final Brewers-Cubs Prediction & Pick
Milwaukee’s advantage with Burnes extends to a lineup full of power threats.
Final Brewers-Cubs Prediction & Pick: Milwaukee -1.5 (+116), under 7.5 (-120)
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