Saturday May 25th NL Free Pick: Phillies at Brewers
A Pitching Duel on Tap at Miller Park?
The O/U for the May 25th NL free pick between the Phillies and Brewers is set at 9.5. That may seem a bit high considering two quality pitchers are on the bump for both teams. Philadelphia took game one of the series on Friday 6-4 to push their lead in the NL East to 1.5 games. The Brewers loss dropped them 1.5 games back from the Cubs. Milwaukee is favored at home in this one (MIL -132) but there is some good value on Philadelphia as +110 underdogs.
Phillies Look to Continue Run of Strong Play
After Friday night’s win, the Phillies have now won 6 of their last 8 games. The Philadelphia bats have come to life a bit, scoring 5+ runs in five of those games. Bryce Harper appears to be getting in the groove with a .310 average and 2 HR over the past week. Andrew McCutchen has 11 hits in his last 29 AB and an OBP of .455 over that span. McCutchen had two doubles on Friday and Rhys Hoskins broke a long home run drought with his 12th of the year. All that being said, the Phillies lineup has hit just .176 collectively vs. Saturday’s Milwaukee starter.
Jake Arrieta gets the ball in the May 25th NL free pick against a team he is very familiar with in the Brewers. Arrieta spent 5 years with the Cubs battling Milwaukee for NL Central crowns. The right-hander’s last start came against those Cubs and Arrieta was solid with just 1 ER allowed over 6.0 IP. It was a nice bounce back outing for the former NL Cy Young Award winner as he had 4+ ER allowed in 3 of 4 starts prior, one of which came in a 2-5 loss to Milwaukee 10 days ago. The current Brewers roster has seen Arrieta a total of 142 plate appearances, but they hit just .258 collectively against him as a team. Arrieta gave up 4ER in just 3.1 IP the last time he pitched at Miller Park last June.
Do Brewers Bounce Back Here?
Milwaukee has dropped 4 of their last 6 but is still hanging close in the NL Central race. The Brewers offense has been held to 3 runs or less in 3 of the last 5 but did plate 11 in the series finale vs. the Reds. Ryan Braun has had some success against Arrieta (.273, 3HR, 11 RBI) in 33 career AB. Lorenzo Cain also has 6 hits in 12 AB vs. the Phillies starter. Christian Yelich has also gone just 4-15 vs. Arrieta but he does have a HR in that span. Yasmani Grandal has been the Brewers hottest hitter lately reaching base 12 times in his last 22 plate appearances. It’s hard to see Milwaukee getting a ton of offense going in this one however.
Another reason Saturday’s tilt seems like it could be on the lower scoring side of things is because Milwaukee starter Jhoulys Chacin has also been getting better lately. He had some rough outings in mid-April such as 6ER given up to the Dodgers and 4 to St. Louis but those were both on the road. Chacin has allowed just 7 total ER in four starts at Miller Park this season. Chacin made one start vs. Philadelphia last season, giving up 4ER in 6.1 IP.
May 25th NL Free Pick Betting
There’s a lot of offensive talent on the field Saturday but also two pitchers with shutdown potential. The Brewers have gone just 2-6 in Chacin’s last 8 starts however and have lost 5 straight vs. teams with a winning record. The Phillies are just 3-7 in Arrieta’s last 10 road starts though. Chacin has been great at home, and that should give Milwaukee the edge in this one.
NL Free Pick: Milwaukee Brewers -132