2011 NLDS Free MLB Picks, Tips and Odds: Arizona Diamondbacks @ Milwaukee Brewers Favorite, Moneyline, Total and Expert Predictions 10/7/11: The Milwaukee Brewers and Arizona Diamondbacks aren’t on the short list of dominant franchises in baseball these days. However, one of these two upstart teams will advance to the National League Championship Series and have a shot at reaching the World Series. Milwaukee and Arizona will meet in a series-deciding Game 5 in Milwaukee. The team has won every game thus far, but after being down 0-2, the Diamondbacks may have stolen a little momentum after evening the series in Arizona. Still, the Brewers are 1 ½-run favorites in Friday’s pivotal game.
Fittingly, both teams will have their ace on the mound for the most important game of the season to date. Milwaukee’s Yovani Gollardo will look to have a repeat of his Game 1 performance when he defeated Arizona’s 21-game winner Ian Kennedy. Gallardo was dominant in the series opener, and for his career, he has never lost to the Diamondbacks. Despite having a rough outing in Game 1, Arizona probably isn’t complaining about sending the NL leader in wins in 2011 to the mound. A pitcher’s duel is certainly possible.
The fact that the game will be played in Milwaukee can’t be underestimated either. After all, the Brewers had the best home record in baseball this season and are 2-0 at home in the playoffs. Not to mention the fact that the Arizona lineup is hitting almost 150 points lower on the road than at home. Psychological or not, the advantage the Brewers will have playing in front of their home crowd has shown up on the stat sheet thus far.
If Arizona is going to advance to the NLCS, the lineup has to produce some runs. Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun and the rest of the Milwaukee lineup is just too productive at home to be shut down completely. Granted, Kennedy has the stuff to make things rough on any lineup, but the Diamondbacks are likely looking at needing at least four runs to advance. Outfielders Justin Upton and Chris Young have to be the catalysts for Arizona. Both players have the potential to carry an offense, and they are the two likely candidates to get a big hit.
For the Brewers, the “Beast Mode” rally cry that has been catching on with fans will be on full display Friday evening. The Milwaukee offense has been able to deliver big blows at home for most of the season, and the trend has continued in the playoffs. MVP candidates Fielder and Braun have been living up to their impressive regular season numbers, and either player could deal the fatal blow for the Diamondbacks Friday night.
In the end, the incredible advantage the Brewers have enjoyed at home is just too much to discount. Milwaukee’s offense and pitching has been better at home, and opponents always seem to be out of sync. The Diamondbacks have experienced this first hand already in this series, and they could get an unpleasant reminder Friday night. Kennedy gives Arizona a fighting chance, but Gollardo is without question Milwaukee’s best and most consistent starter. Look for Gollardo to take care of business on the mound just as he did in Game 1, and the Brewers’ star power on offense will likely take care of the rest.
Prediction: Milwaukee Brewers (-1 ½) Cover the Spread
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|Arizona Diamondbacks @ Milwaukee Brewers
Time: 5:05 PM EST on TBS
Vegas Odds –
Favorite: Milwaukee -145(moneyline) Total: Over/Under 7.5 Runs
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