Brewers vs. Pirates prediction and odds for Monday, Sept. 4 (Back Bucs Bullpen)

The Brewers lead the season series 7-3 over the Pirates.
Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher David Bednar (51)
Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher David Bednar (51) / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve now reached Labor Day and the Milwaukee Brewers are still holding onto their lead in the National League Central at 76-60. It’s a 3.5 game lead over Chicago and they are 13.5 games clear of the fourth-place, 63-74 Pittsburgh Pirates.

Milwaukee is in Pittsburgh for a three-game set with Corbin Burnes on the mound for Game 1. The Pirates have yet to announce a starter and will be going with another opener and bullpen game. Burnes is 9-7 on the season for Milwaukee with a 3.55 ERA in 27 starts.

I’ll give you my pick for this NL Central showdown and whether you’re betting with me or against me, you should do it in the FanDuel Sportsbook with this great promo. Click the link below to sign up, then deposit $5 and place a bet on this matchup to collect $200 in bonus bets win or lose. Plus you’ll get $100 off NFL Sunday Ticket to get ready for football season. 

Now, here are the odds for the Brewers and Pirates.

Brewers vs. Pirates odds, run line and total

Brewers vs. Pirates prediction and pick

For his career, Corbin Burnes has had the Pirates number. He is 7-1 against the Pirates in 22 games with a 3.33 ERA and 85 strikeouts to 27 walks in 75.2 innings of work. I have confidence that he’ll succeed against the Pittsburgh lineup like he has twice already this season. Burnes is once again dominating with his cutter which has been much better lately. That pitch has a 10 run value and only allows a .224 average and hitters are slugging just .359 against it. 

In the second half of the year, the Pirates bullpen has been very busy. It has logged the third most innings, 201.0 and with a 4.07 ERA is 13th in the MLB. Their relievers collectively are averaging nearly 10 strikeouts per nine and less than one home run per nine innings. Those stats are pretty reliable and this bullpen has actually become surprisingly trustworthy.

Over the last 30 days these two offenses have been about identical. The Brewers have scored one more run than the Pirates with 125 to Pittsburgh’s 124 and the Pirates have a team OPS just three points better, .717 to Milwaukee’s .714. 

The Brewers should be favored, but not by this much. The Pirates are over .500 in their last 42 games, which is not an insignificant feat. I’ll take Pittsburgh plus the run and a half. 

Follow all Josh Yourish’s bets HERE

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change