Stephen Nover Free Friday Play

On July 22, 2016, in Free Picks, MLB, by Stephen

Brewers plus $1.50 hosting Cubs

Cubs versus Brewers. Mismatch, right? I say the perception doesn’t fit the reality in this game.

The Brewers own a winning record at home. The Cubs are 1-6 in their last seven road games and have dropped seven of their last eight away matchups to teams with a winning home mark.

Despite their below .500 overall record, the Brewers draw good home support especially when they host their hated nearby division rival.

The pitching matchup is 33-year-old Jason Hammel versus Jimmy Nelson, who is entering his prime at 27 while displaying signs of living up to being the No. 1 pitcher on the staff the Brewers envisioned the past couple of seasons.

Hammel has been less than special away from Wrigley Field with a 4-4 record and 3.81 ERA. He’s lost four of his past five decisions. I consider Hammel the weak link in the Cubs’ rotation.

Nelson began the season 5-3 with a 2.88 ERA. Then he hit a seven-start downturn. He’s bounced back strong posting a 1.86 ERA during his last five starts. Nelson blanked the Reds in seven innings during his last start this past Saturday striking out seven while giving up six hits. He has a 2.83 lifetime ERA against the Cubs in nine appearances, including seven starts.

It’s widely accepted that the Yankees have the best seventh/eighth/ninth inning relief trio with Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman.

But the Brewers could have the best NL trio of late-inning relievers with Will Smith (2.00 ERA), Tyler Thornburg (2.39 ERA) and closer Jeremy Jeffress (2.23 ERA).


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