Desert Showdown: Prince Fielder and the Brewers Wrap Up Series in Arizona – Betting Preview

Milwaukee Brewers (53-46) AT Arizona Diamondbacks (52-46)
July 21, 2011  at 9:40 PM EST
Opening Line:  ARI -120, MIL +100
Current Line:  ARI -114, MIL -105
Opening Total: 8.5
Current Total: 8.5

SP:  MIL- Zach Greinke; ARI- Ian Kennedy

For the first time in his career, Kennedy has double digit wins

After dropping the series opener 3-0, the Brewers have come back in the last two games to take a 2-1 series lead and can win their third straight tonight.  They have outsscored the Diamondbacks 16 to 5 over the last two games.

The Brewers are dealing with injuries to Ryan Braun, who missed the final 8 games before the All-Star break and had to leave the series opening loss with tightness in his L hamstring and calf.  Wednesday night, he went the distance in a 5-2 win, but Carlos Gomez went down with a fractured collarbone while he dove to make a catch at the end of the fourth inning.

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke had this to say about the injury: “It’s a big loss for us.  If he doesn’t make that catch, we probably don’t win the game.”

The Brewers hold a half game lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates for the division crown.

The Diamondbacks are going to be without Stephen Drew who fractured his right ankle in the fourt inning Wednesday while sliding into home.

Kirk Gibson realizes the injury is far from minor:  “Nothing we can do about it.  We wish him well, just hope he has a good recovery and resumes his career next year.”

Ian Kennedy will take the mound for the Diamondbacks.  The staff ace is 10-3 with a 3.39 ERA, and is looking to win his third straight start tonight.  Last outing, he went 7 innings in a 3-2 win, picking up a quality start and striking out 7 while giving up only 2 runs.  This is the first time in his young career that Kennedy has reached 10 wins.  Still, he wasn’t completely pleased with the outing.  He felt he lacked control over the ball, saying it was “sailing on [him]” and that it is something “[he’ll] have to address for [his] next start.”

The Brewers will start Zack Greinke tonight.  He hasn’t had the greatest of years, with a 5.04 ERA, but his record of 7-3 improbably stands out as good.  In his last two outings, both non-decisions, he allowed only 2 earned runs over 12 innings, while striking out 8.  Prior to that stretch, however, he recorded an ERA of 12.38 in the two outings prior.  Tonight will represent his first start against the Brewers as a member of the Diamondbacks.  Prince Fielder is lifetime 2 of 5 off Kennedy, with one homer.

Some betting trends:

The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the Milwaukee Brewers’ last 6 games while they are 4-1 SU in their last 5. The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the last 6 on ther road, as well, while the Brewers are 4-1 SU in their last 5 road games.  The Brewers are 8-1 SU in their last 9 road games against the Arizona Diamondbacks.  The total has gone UNDER in 5 of the Brewers’ last 7 games on the road against the Diamondbacks.

The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the Diamondbacks’ last 5 games and the total has also gone UNDER in 4 of their last 5 at home.  The total has gone UNDER in 5 of their last 7 against the Brewers while they are 1-8 SU in their last 9 games at home against Arizona.

The line is set nearly even for this one, but I feel the struggles of Greinke should render them as bigger favorites than the hairline difference is on this one.  The total is set at 8.5, which offers little value, either way.

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