MLB Picks Today, Best Bets, Odds, Predictions for Thursday, May 9, 2024

Cardinals and Brewers
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 28: Paul Goldschmidt #46 of the St. Louis Cardinals and Christian Yelich #22 of the Milwaukee Brewers meet at first base in the eighth inning at Miller Park on August 28, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Yesterday stunk. We won on the Braves vs. Red Sox under, but we lost in Colorado and Cincinnati. The Reds couldn’t score with a runner on third and less than two outs to at least get us the push. The Giants vs. Rockies first five total closed an entire run lower than the original bet, but it didn’t matter as the Giants’ bats exploded.

I am going to keep firing away. It’s a smaller board with only seven games, so here is my favorite pick for Thursday’s action.

These picks are available on BetMGM. Code “JustBaseball” for a first bet offer up to $1500.

2024 Record: 43-53 (-11.52 U)

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers @ 7:40 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Sonny Gray vs. Tobias Myers

The Cardinals have a clear advantage in the starting pitching matchup. However, the Brewers have the advantage in everything else on the field. While Sonny Gray is phenomenal, I will be backing Milwaukee today.

There is a solid system today on the Brewers: “Previous Playoff Teams at Home.” The system is 359-300 (16% ROI).

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It says to back the home team if they made the playoffs last year when the opposing team’s winning percentage is between 16% and 56%. It makes sense. The lesser-road team usually has the better starter in this spot, but the better team wins. That’s my exact thought process for this one.

I also did a bit of line reading. The Brewers were -125 favorites when Lance Lynn was projected to be on the mound. Is Sonny Gray worth 60-65 points on the line? He’s fantastic, but I don’t think so. They went overboard with Gray, as he doesn’t have an excellent track record against the Brewers bats.

Over 72 PA against the Brewers’ current roster, they are hitting .264 with a .351 xwOBA. Willy Adames is hitting .500 in ten at-bats against him. Yelich is only 3-18 against him, but his xwOBA is .361, telling me he’s due for a hit to fall today. Brice Turang is 2-3 against him, and Rhys Hoskins is 3-12

On that topic, getting Christian Yelich back is huge for this offense. William Contreras has been a monster, but Yelich is the best hitter on this team. Adding him, and subtracting Willson Contreras from the Cardinals is incredibly impactful in opposite ways for each team.

The Brewers’ offense was already better than the Cardinals before Yelich entered and Contreras exited. Over the last two weeks, the Brewers have a 115 wRC+ vs righties while the Cardinals are at 98. Over the entire season, the gap is widens.

The Brewers have a 122 wRC+ against righties this season. That trails only the Yankees and Dodgers. It’s a legitimate offense that nobody is paying attention to. While they punched out 12 times against Gray a few weeks ago, they did score two runs in six innings. They also won that game, as the Cardinals offense didn’t show up, which is a normal occurrence these days.

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Do the bats wake up against Tobias Myers? Myers does have one thing going for him: He’s been terrific against left-handed bats. Lefties have posted a .564 OPS against him compared to righties, who have a 1.108 OPS. Losing a righty bat like Contreras puts them in a bad spot here. The righties we have to watch out for are Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, and Ivan Herrera. Goldschmidt looks like a shell of himself, so if today it clicks, I’ll tip my cap.

I find it interesting that Myers has an ERA over six, but he’s -145 to go under 2.5 earned runs. I don’t expect more than five innings out of him, but if we can keep the game close, I like the Brewers’ chances as we go further into the game.

I like both of these bullpens. Overall, this season, they’ve performed at similar rates with a slight edge to the Cardinals. Still, when the bullpen numbers are similar, and I have the better offense throughout the game, I’m going give the slight advantage to the Brewers in the later innings.

The Cardinals are 1-8 in their last nine games. They lost both games to the Mets and a series to the White Sox. The Brewers swept these Cardinals by a score of 16-6. The Brewers are the far better team at home that just got injected with life with Yelich. The Cardinals are reeling, and while they have the better starter, that’s all they got. I like the value of the Brewers at a solid plus price.

The Pick: Brewers ML (+115) Risk 1 Unit

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