While most sports bettors and fans were glued to Thursday night’s broadcast of the NFL draft, I attended my first Major League Baseball game in nearly two years. It felt great to be back at the ballpark. It felt even better to score a major underdog winner with the Brewers, who took down the Dodgers in a battle of two of the NL’s best teams. The result seemed improbable to the Average Joe, as Milwaukee played as a + 185 home underdog with manager Craig Counsell late in the day naming a little-known pitcher to oppose reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer.
Counsell’s decision is exactly what steered me the Brewers’ way, however. The pitcher named to start the contest was Eric Lauer, known as a Dodger killer. He was always tremendous against Los Angeles while he pitched for the Padres. In fact, his record and key stats against the defending World Series champions top the accompanying pitcher-vs.-opponent matchup list. In true Lauer fashion, he controlled the dangerous L.A. lineup, holding it scoreless for five innings before turning it over to the talented Milwaukee bullpen. The Brewers won 2-1, and it was a great validation of how putting in work can lead to betting profits.
You see, I remembered on the way to the game that Lauer had appeared on my top pitcher-vs.-opponent matchups in the past, and clearly Counsell put a lot of stock into this information himself as he searched his roster for a starter that night. It proved a crucial move as the Brewers won what would have seemed a throwaway game, setting the table for three straight wins over L.A.