The underachieving Milwaukee Brewers should add a little positive momentum when they host the Chicago Cubs on Saturday. Just looking at the two clubs’ respective offences, Milwaukee have been superior – they’re averaging about a half-run per game more than Chicago. The Cubs’ pitching, meanwhile, has been better than the Brewers’ - Chicago has given up almost a run less per game than Milwaukee.
In this game, however, the pitching match-up favors the Brewers, which negates the Cubs’ typical advantage. Milwaukee’s Shawn Marcum has delivered a quality start (throwing six innings or more and yielding three or less runs) in five of his six outings. Chicago’s Chris Volstad has only one quality start in six appearances. Go with the Brewers at 1.52 and pass on the Cubs at 2.55.
Braves pitcher Brandon Beachy’s emergence as a top-shelf starter means the Braves will be well-positioned to upend the St. Louis Cardinals on the road. Beachy had a solid rookie season in 2011 (7-3, 3.68 ERA), but he’s raised his game in his first six starts, going 3-1 with a 1.62 ERA. Beachy has never pitched in St. Louis before, but he’s historically been better on the road than at home (2.93 ERA away v. 3.55 ERA at home).
After a very shaky start this season, the Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright appears to have steadied the ship. Two of his last three outings have been excellent. But those games were against lesser hitting clubs, in the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros. Atlanta boast the second-best run-scoring offence behind only the Cardinals. As both teams can swing the bat, it’ll be the quality of pitching that will determine the result and that favours Atlanta at 2.00 instead of St. Louis at 1.81.