Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder has taken a lot of heat for his adoption of vegetarianism in the offseason. With his latest performance, he may have silenced some of his critics.
After leading his club to a win with his first multihomer game of the year, Fielder looks to continue his hot hitting as the Brewers try to complete a sweep of their two-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies in Thursday's finale at Miller Park.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Milwaukee -124 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 9.5 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 60% of bets for this game have been placed on Milwaukee -124 (View MLB Bet Percentages). Bet this game.
Fielder led the NL with 50 homers last season, helping lead the Brewers (13-8) to their best record in 15 years. The slugging first baseman, however, started slow this season after cutting meat out of his diet in February. He went homerless in his first 14 games and hit just one in his first 68 at-bats.
Fielder's early slump, combined with his new eating habits, prompted some speculation that he might be better off sticking with the diet helped him finish third in the MVP race last season. Fielder, though, had plenty of power on Wednesday night, when he drove in four runs with his second and third home runs to lead the Brewers to a 5-4 win over the Phillies.
His second homer of the game was a two-run shot off Philadelphia ace Cole Hamels that gave Milwaukee the lead in the eighth inning.
"I have got a job to do. No matter how I feel, I have got to try to just win that battle every time," Fielder said. "I don't try to hit for power. I just try to hit the ball hard. I am just trying to win the competition."
Fielder was batting .215 through his first 19 games, but has bumped his average up to .264 by going 5-for-7 with two homers, five RBIs and two walks in his last two games - both Brewers victories.
Though the Phillies (11-11) had their three-game win streak snapped with Wednesday's defeat, second baseman Chase Utley continued his remarkable start. He hit his major league-leading 10th home run - his seventh in seven games. He's batting .483 (14-for-29) in that stretch.
Utley is 6-for-14 with one home run in his career against Milwaukee starter Jeff Suppan (1-0, 4.13 ERA).
The Brewers are undefeated in Suppan's four starts, and have averaged 6.3 runs in those games. The right-hander held Cincinnati to two runs and three hits in 6 2-3 innings in his last outing Saturday, and Milwaukee won 5-3 in 10 innings.
Suppan, though, has struggled against the Phillies lately, losing four of his last five starts against them with a 6.93 ERA in that stretch. He's 3-5 with a 6.18 ERA lifetime against Philadelphia.
Suppan will match up against the Phillies' Jamie Moyer (1-1, 4.79). The 45-year-old left-hander is 8-5 with a 3.69 ERA in 20 career games - 15 starts - against the Brewers, but was reached for five runs in 6 1-3 innings on May 14 in his only start against them since 1997.
Moyer suffered a 4-2 loss to the New York Mets in his last outing Saturday, despite allowing just two runs in six innings.