Brew Crew hits Big Apple

A couple of first-place teams get together in New York for a little interleague baseball this week as the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers hit the Bronx for three games with the AL East-leading New York Yankees beginning Tuesday night (7:05 Eastern).

As of Tuesday morning BetOnline.com is listing New York as a -130 favorite for Tuesday night’s game, with an over/under of nine. Milwaukee is getting +120 as the underdog.

Milwaukee just swept three games at home from the Minnesota Twins by a combined score of 21-6. So going into Tuesday’s play the Brewers lead their division by three games over the second-place St. Louis Cardinals.

New York, meanwhile, just took two of three games at home from Colorado, and has won 12 of its last 16. So going into Tuesday’s game the Yanks lead their division by a half-game over the second-place Boston Red Sox.

American League import Zack Greinke (7-2, 4.77) gets the start for Milwaukee Tuesday night against veteran Freddy Garcia (6-6, 3.30) for the Pinstripes.

Greinke began the season on the DL, didn’t make his first start until May 4, and while he’s won some games, and Milwaukee is 8-2 in his starts, he hasn’t exactly been lights-out. The former AL Cy Younger is six-for-10 in quality starts, and he recently got bopped around for six earned runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings vs. the Cubs. He did, however, have a very good outing last time out, and for the season he owns an 80/9 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Despite pitching in the AL up until this year Greinke hasn’t faced the Yankees since 2008.

Garcia is 8-for-13 in quality starts this season, and he’s strung together three in a row, allowing just four ER on 16 hits over his last 20 2/3 IP. The Yanks are 7-6 in his starts this year.

Garcia last faced Milwaukee in 2007, as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Milwaukee owns one of the largest home-road discrepancies in the Majors. Because while the Brewers are 29-11 at Miller Park, they’re 15-24 elsewhere.

The Yanks, meanwhile, are 25-18 at the Stadium this year.

These two teams used to face each other regularly as AL East divisional rivals. But since the Brewers moved to the National League in the late 1990s these teams don’t get together much. They last played back in 2005.

The over/unders are 34-35 in Yankees games this season, 38-36 in Brewers games, and 21-18 in games played at Yankee Stadium, which have averaged 9.4 RPG.

Also, the O/Us are 7-1 in Greinke’s starts this year, but 3-8 when Garcia starts.

While the Brewers have struggled on the road this season we expect them to improve. And anytime you can get Greinke as an underdog it’s probably worth a play. So we’ll take Milwaukee to win Tuesday’s series opener.