Milwaukee (Anderson) +127 at Minnesota (Hughes) O/U 8.5
Phil Hughes had a good year throwing at home last year posting a 9-3 record in 15 his starts with a 1.15 WHIP and 3.87 ERA. Despite those solid AL numbers, Hughes still allowed 15 HRs in those starts and only struck out 5.1 batters per nine innings but his .280 home BAbip was the difference maker. In his two seasons pitching for the Twins, that .297 home split was below his other three home/road splits which are incredibly consistent (2015 Away BABip .336 / 2014 Home .325 / Away .327). The point being that Hughes is the same pitcher he has always been and a little bit of luck led him to better 2015 home numbers. In his one home start thus far in 2016 his BABip was .353 and he was saddled with his first home loss of this season. Milwaukee’s lineup is no longer above average offensively but they are far better against righties this year (.235 BA vs RH / .171 vs. LH). Four of the six games where they’ve produced 12+ total bases have been against RH’s and four of the five games where they’ve scored 4+ runs have come against them. The Brewers figure to have enough offense to get Hughes for three runs in six innings. The fun could then begin for Milwaukee since Minnesota’s top pair of relief options have been used extensively since last Thursday. Closer Kevin Jepsen who is filling in for injured LH closer Glen Perkins has thrown each of the last three days while setup man Trevor May has thrown three of the last four days including yesterday totaling 66 pitches. While Jepsen figures to be definitely unavailable tonight, it’s possible May could be rested too and even if he’s not, his effectiveness is questionable. The Twins bullpen has thrown a total of 185 pitches the past five days and Jepsen & May have thrown 107 (57.8%) of the which indicates how reliant they are on them. Milwaukee's Chase Anderson has strung back-to-back effective starts together to start the season against Houston and St. Louis allowing zero earned runs and only 10 total base-runners in his 13 innings pitched. Anything in that area tonight should be more than enough to get Milwaukee a win and the +130 price makes it worth taking a shot.