The good news for the Milwaukee Brewers is that they’re only a half game behind the Reds for the NL Central lead, but the bad news is that they’ve lost five of their last six games heading into this four-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates. There’s more bad news because the Pirates have won three of their last four and seven of their last 12 games to get to 48-59.
Even though they’re headed in the wrong direction right now, the Brewers do lead the season series 5-1 and for Game 1 of this series they’ll send Adrian Houser to the mound to make his 13th start. Houser will be opposed by 9-7 Mitch Keller who has a 3.97 ERA in 22 starts while Houser is 3-3 with a 4.43 ERA.
Even with their ace and All-Star on the mound the Pirates are underdogs on the road in Milwaukee tonight.
Pirates vs. Brewers odds, run line and total
Pirates vs. Brewers prediction and pick
Over the past week, the Pirates are actually playing well and the Brewers are certainly not. Milwaukee is 24th in team OPS over that stretch, but with 29 runs scored in six games while the Pirates are 15th in OPS with 21 runs scored in five games. The Pirates are getting some production from their rookies that they’ve called up recently, but it’s Bryan Reynolds who is finally living up to the contract he signed earlier this year.
Reynolds has been hitting the ball hard all year long, but it’s finally finding the grass instead of some fielder’s glove. He has an .891 OPS over the past week with seven singles and a home run. Endy Rodrgiuez has also stepped up and might be the best of this class of prospects. The Pirates suddenly have a viable lineup to support Mitch Keller.
Jack Suwinski has been cold over this recent stretch, but Houser throws a lot of curveballs to lefties and hitters are slugging .561 on his curveball. Surwinski is slugging .818 off curveballs and has six of his homers off breaking pitches. He could have a good day today.
July was rough for Mitch Keller, but he bounced back last time and I think he’ll be good in this one. I’ll take the Pirates as underdogs.
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