Milwaukee Brewers (51-45) AT Arizona Diamondbacks (51-44)
July 18, 2011 at 9:40 PM EST
Opening Line: ARI -125, MIL +105
Current Line: ARI -125, MIL +104
Opening Total: 9
Current Total: 9
SP: MIL- Randy Wolf; ARI- Josh Collmenter
Prince Fielder isn’t trying to make too much of the bizarre circumstances of the All-Star break, in which he drew a lot of animosity from Diamondback fans after selecting Justin Upton to team up with him, but the he “redeemed” himself with the All-Star game. He claimed he understood what the fans did, but I’m not sure it’s all that simple…
“Yeah, I don’t know if I transformed (the fans), but I understood,” Fielder told the team’s official website. “I didn’t take it too personally. I mean, I probably would have booed myself, too, if I was an Arizona fan. That just shows you how much Justin means to them.”
Against the Diamondbacks over his career, Fielder has been very good. He’s hit .328 with 10 HRs and 22 RBIs in 39 games. On the July 4th to July 6th series, he went 5 of 11 with a homer and 4 RBIs, though the Brewers dropped two of those three games. Over the six game win streak the Brewers have going against the Diamondbacks, Fielder is hitting .320, as the Brewers have outscored the D-Backs 46-14 in those games.
Ryan Braun could be returning to the lineup for the Brewers after suffering a hamstring malady, which forced him to exit the game on Saturday. In Sunday’s win he pinch hit.
“I’m hoping that with the time off he had before the break, it healed up that area,” Brewers’ skipper Ron Ronicke said optimistically. “Right now, I’m hoping that we’re just day-to-day. And hopefully it just continues to get better and we don’t get to the point where we need to back him off for a couple weeks.”
In his last 6 games at Arizona’s Chase Field, Ryan Braun has gone 9 of 26 (.360) with 8 RBIs and 10 runs scored.
Brewers’ hurler Randy Wolf has pitched particularly well at Chase Field. Wolf is 6-6 this season with a 3.65 ERA and he has won his last 7 starts at Chase Field, compiling a 3.26 ERA. He wasn’t so great last time against the Diamondbacks, however, as he gave up 7 runs in 3 innings, in a 7-3 loss at home. Next start, against the Reds, he gave up 3 runs over 7 innings, but did not pick up a decision in what still was a ‘quality’ start.
Justin Upton has reached a dry spot in his season, as he has went 0 for his last 15, but against Wolf he has had a lot of success. He’s batting .329 with 29 RBIs at home against Wolf, and .294 overall.
Rookie Josh Collmenter will again take the mound for the Diamondbacks. Collmenter has given up 5 runs or more three times this season, but due to 4 shutouts, he still has a 2.92 ERA. In 77 innings of work, he has 51 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.00. Opposing batters are hitting a mere .215 against Collmenter.
By all means, he is proving to have been worth the 15th round pick spent on him back in 2007, though Baseball Prospectus projected him to be no better than a “fifth starter” prior to this season. Collmenter is only 25 years old and had a long career ahead of him and the Diamondbacks are going to be thankful they have the 6’2″ righty.
Collmenter has lost his last two home starts, and in his last on June 19th, he gave up 3 runs in 7 innings, but the Diamondbacks were defeated 8-2.
Some betting trends:
The Milwaukee Brewers are 6-3 SU in their last 9 games and the total has gone OVER In 10 of their last 14 games. It has also gone OVER In 5 of their last 7 on the road. The Brewers are 3-8 SU in their last 11 on the road and they are 2-5 SU in their last 7 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The total has gone OVER In 4 of the Brewers’ last 5 games against the Diamondbacks and it has gone UNDER in 4 of the last 6 road games against the Diamondbacks. The Brewers are 5-0 SU in their last 5 games on the road against the Diamondbacks.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are 5-2 SU in their last 7 games against the Milwaukee Brewers and the total has gone OVER in 4 of the last 5 games against the Brewers. The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the last 6 at home against Milwaukee while Arizona is 0-5 SU in their last 5 games at home against the Brewers.
Both teams have been managing to hit the ball pretty well, and are tempered by decent pitchers. The total isn’t particulary enticing and the favorited Diamondbacks should win behind the strength of Collmenter’s arm.