MLB Betting Thursday: Brewers, Corbin Burnes Mispriced?

Written By Eli Hershkovich on August 18, 2022
MLB Betting

Wrapping up a four-game set against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers ace Corbin Burnes takes the mound on Thursday afternoon. Let’s dig into my MLB betting analysis for this critical National League clash, as Burnes’ club is in the midst of fighting for one of the three wild-card spots.

Click on any of the odds below to place a wager.

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MLB Betting: Dodgers at Brewers Odds

Burnes “Undervalued” Against Los Angeles?

Although the 2021 NL Cy Young winner has drifted away from the conversation this time around because of Sandy Alcantara’s dominance, his numbers haven’t dipped dramatically from last season. Overall, Burnes owns a fine 2.78 xERA to go along with his 2.39 ERA, proving he’s only outperformed expectations by a smidge.

Burnes’ curveball spin ranks in the 85th percentile (per Baseball Savant), which furthermore signifies his potential to dominate a given outing. Moreover, opponent’s expected barrel percentage — arguably MLB’s most predictive power metric, as a player with a 15% barrel rate or higher is considered elite — also finds itself in the 81st percentile.

He’s been extremely reliant on his cutter over the last two seasons, and its usage rate has even seen an increase this month (59.3%). However, the Dodgers’ lineup has delivered the league’s highest run value against cutters in the 2022 campaign (via FanGraphs).

With that said, Burnes’ cutter possesses an average velocity of 95.3 mph, making it one of the toughest pitches to generate contact against when his command is on.

On the flip side, southpaw Andrew Heaney has greatly exceed expectations, yet his 2.85 xERA is considerably higher than his 1.16 ERA. His velocity hasn’t risen much from last season (92.5 mph), either.

Milwaukee’s collective struggles against lefties (and generally speaking) are well-documented, yet Mike Brosseau, Hunter Renfroe and Victor Caratini have all manufactured an individual wRC+ in that regard that’s above league average. Heaney’s success thus far comes with a sample size of just seven starts, creating plenty of hesitation, too.

Even though Dodgers pitching coach Mark Prior has a reputation for “fixing” arms, Heaney’s numbers could very well begin to shift back towards his career results (4.84 xERA) by the simple nature of racking up additional innings.

Related: 2022 World Series Odds

MLB Betting Conclusion

You’d expect the market to at least initially favor the team with baseball’s best record — for the most part. But while the metrics slightly lean towards Heaney and the Dodgers, the implied probability behind Burnes and the Brewers’ price tag (51.2%) creates a bit of value in the home underdog (as of Wednesday evening).

Mind you, Milwaukee closer Devin Williams didn’t pitch in Wednesday’s loss, meaning he should be available if needed. That gives me more confidence in backing Craig Counsell’s club on the full-game moneyline ⁠— rather than just over the first five innings.

Best Available Line: TheLines’ MLB odds comparison tool
Eli’s Bet:

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Eli Hershkovich Avatar
Written by
Eli Hershkovich

Eli Hershkovich is a lead sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media, formerly with Audacy and The Action Network. His goal is to provide you with data and information to lead you to winning bets. Eli is an avid college basketball gambler — among many other sports — and still hasn't forgiven Virginia for ruining his 2018-2019 Texas Tech futures.

View all posts by Eli Hershkovich