Featured Video from Scott Reichel
When and where: July 18, 2019, Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ, 9:40 PM ET
The Milwaukee Brewers travel to Phoenix on Thursday for their first 2019 meeting with the Arizona Diamondbacks. It’s a fateful series between a pair of second-place teams vying for sustainability in their respective divisions. Zach Davies is slated to take the mound as the starting pitcher for the Brewers opposite of a starter for the Diamondbacks that has yet to be announced.
Brewers finally found their offensive mojo
The Brewers have patiently waited for their offense to show some sign of life after losing eight of their last 11 games. That wait finally came to an end on Tuesday night, as star slugger Christian Yelich and company delivered a 13-run performance to top the Atlanta Braves at home. There is no doubt they’ll need more of those special offensive performances if they have any hope of climbing back into playoff contention.
Unlike the Diamondbacks in the NL West, the NL Central division is still very much in reach for the Brewers, who only trail the Chicago Cubs by three games. However, they also have the constant threat of the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates and even the Cincinnati Reds on their heels. There really is no time to settle in what is easily one of the most competitive divisions in baseball.
Davies is slated to step up as the starting pitcher in Thursday’s meeting with the Diamondbacks. The young, talented righty is throwing a 2.89 ERA with a 7-2 record in 102.2 innings on the mound. He is currently on pace for a career season. In back-to-back meetings with the San Francisco Giants and Pirates, he held both teams to no earned runs in five-plus innings.
Diamondbacks avoid third straight loss
The Diamondbacks didn’t back down from adversity after two consecutive road game losses to the Cardinals. They could have easily wilted in Tuesday night’s game against the Rangers, but they managed to hold one of the best run-scoring offenses to only two runs, while piling up nine runs at the plate. It was easily one of the best performances we’ve seen from the Diamondbacks all month.
That kind of dominant play will be needed for them to keep second place in the NL West division. Granted, there are still enough games for them to catch up to the Los Angeles Dodgers for first place, but those are long odds that will be heavily dependent on a complete meltdown by the Dodgers, along with an astonishing turnaround by the Diamondbacks, who have pretty much established themselves as a middle-of-the-road team in the league.
They are a 48-47 team with a two-game lead in second place over the rest of the division. Outside of the Dodgers, who have a 13-game lead in first place, there is currently no breathing room in the NL West.
- Diamondbacks are 2-7 in Kelly’s last 9 starts following a team loss in the previous game.
- Diamondbacks are 1-4 in Kelly’s last 5 starts against a team with a winning record.
- Diamondbacks are 1-4 in Kelly’s last 5 starts.
- Diamondbacks are 1-4 in Kelly’s last 5 starts on grass.
- Brewers are 4-0 in Davies’ last 4 starts following a Quality Start in his last appearance.
- Brewers are 4-1 in Davies’ last 5 starts with 4 days of rest.
- Brewers are 4-0 in the last 4 head-to-head meetings.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Davies has been a reliable pitching option for the Brewers throughout the season, and his value to the team is reflected in his 7-2 record. Good things tend to happen whenever he’s on the mound, and the Brewers should be in the best position possible to deal with the Diamondbacks’ offense.
It was super important for the Brewers to have that offensive explosion against the Braves on Tuesday night, which could ultimately set the stage for their weekend showdown with the Diamondbacks. They don’t have the defensive finesse to shut down the Diamondbacks on the road, especially when they’re giving up nearly five runs per game.
However, they can match that intensity with another big-hitting night. Davies has stopped more talented offenses in their tracks than the Diamondbacks. It wasn’t too long ago that he pitched a shutout against the Twins in six innings. While I’m not expecting another shutout, Davies does have a strong enough arm to make life difficult on the Diamondbacks’ lineup, which should pave the way for the offense to shine on Thursday.
Give me the Brewers to strike first and cruise to a win in the series opener.
Prediction: Milwaukee Brewers (-105)
Full-Game Total Pick
The over is 6-2 in the last eight head-to-head meetings between the Brewers and Diamondbacks in Arizona. While the Brewers are fighting their way through a slump, their offensive firepower is always combustible with Yelich as the igniter. They are averaging 6.00 runs in their last three games, which puts them in the perfect position to light up the Diamondbacks and help make the over the winning bet.
Prediction: Over (9.5)