Bet Willy Adames vs. Miles Mikolas (June 20)

Cardinals vs Brewers odds

Cardinal Odds +150
Brewer Ratings -180
More less 7.5 (-120 / +100)
Time 8:10 p.m. ET
Odds via PointsBet. Keep up to date MLB odds here.

The Cardinals travel to Milwaukee for a whopping four-game set with the rival Brewers, with each club entering at 38-30, tied at the top of National League Central.

St. Louis will hand the ball to Miles Mikolas, who has been stellar so far in 2022, while the Brewers will counter with defending NL Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes.

Can we expect a pitching duel in the series opener?

Mikolas is looking to continue a strong campaign

Mikolas’ 2.62 ERA in 82 1/3 innings comes with plenty of favorable underlying numbers. He’s coming off a stellar performance last time out against the Pirates, against whom he was one shot away from a no-hitter.

Mikolas pitched to a truly elite QOPA of 5.21 and has five pitches in his arsenal that are rated above league average at the start of this season, including four that could be considered elite. The right-hander had fewer strikeouts than you’d expect given his elite 20.3%, but he only allowed a 4.9% walk rate and induced a lot of soft ground balls.

Mikolas was roughed up by the Brewers on May 29. Milwaukee had six runs on two homers and plenty of hard contact in 5 1/3 innings.

St. Louis’ scorching batting order will get itself quite a test against Burnes. Over the past 30 days, the Cards have hit a 112 wRC+, with a .321 wOBA. The Cardinals have comparable splits against right- and left-handed pitchers, and hit a 108 wRC+ and .317 wOBA.

Cy Burnes looks to dominate St. Louis again

Considering Milwaukee’s struggles against the right-handed pitcher over the past month, it’s a bit of a surprise that he pulled off such a performance the last time he faced Mikolas.

The Brewers have hit a .295 wOBA against right-handers over the past month, and things appeared to have hit a new low in last Tuesday’s 4-0 shutout against the Mets.

However, the Brewers have seemed to be getting hot since that moment, although it’s entirely possible that a weekend with the Reds in Cincinnati helped inflate the appearance of a resurgence.

Milwaukee has been hitting sliders very effectively this season at a 7.6 step value, which is surely an advantage for a matchup with Mikolas.

Burnes remained dominant to start this season, and he was dominant the last time he faced the Cardinals, allowing two hits in seven scoreless innings on May 29.

Burnes has stellar analytics across the board, with a 2.95 xERA this season. Opponents have hit just .138 against Burnes’ non-fast pitches since the start of last season, which is the second-best rate in MLB among pitchers with 110 or more innings in that span, which is worrying for the Cardinals.

Cardinals-Brewers Pick

My first lean into this contest would be the Cardinals, given Milwaukee’s big favor at this point at -175, but Mikolas’ exit just three weeks ago against the Brewers has me a little concerned. The total also looks neat.

I actually see the most value on this contest backing Willy Adames to hit over 1.5 bases in the contest.

Adames is hitting .732 on breakout pitches against right-handed pitchers this season, which Mikolas has thrown for the ninth-highest rate of qualified starters in the majors.

The fact that Mikolas generally hates giving in and walking alongside batters also works in our favor, and we should definitely see Adames manage at least four plate appearances.

Adames is just 1 for 6 in his career against Mikolas. Returning May 29 against the right-hander, he failed three times, although two of them had exit speeds of 100 and 97 mph. I feel like Adames has a quiet advantage in this game.

Take: Willy Adames – Over 1.5 bases (-105, play to -115)

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