Brewers vs. Pirates, 07/17/17 – Expert Prediction

 

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Milwaukee Brewers (52-41 SU, 55-38 RL, 49-40-4 O/U) vs Pittsburgh Pirates (43-48 SU, 47-44 RL, 37-48-6 O/U)

When: 7:05 PM EDT, Monday, July 17, 2017

Where: PNC Park In Pittsburgh, PA

Lines: Pittsburgh -120/ Milwaukee +110

Total: 9

Tonight on the MLB diamond, a couple of National League Central foes will square off as the Milwaukee Brewers tangle with the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PA in game one of their four-game series.  Pitching Probables: The Brewers will send out Brent Suter in this one and he will be opposed by Chad Kuhl.

The Brewers Continue To Roll

The Milwaukee Brewers went into the break with a 5.5 game lead in their division and they still own that same lead after taking their first two games in the series against Philadelphia. This has been one of the hottest teams in the league of late as they have gone 8-1 in their last nine games and have outscored their opponents 58-25 in those games. Their offense has been strong for them all year and they hit a lot of homers, but the pitching has been very solid, especially of late as they now have allowed just 2.78 rpg over their last nine games. The offense is there and so is the pitching, but they do lack in defense as they are 31st in errors with 71. Still, they look like the team to beat in the NL Central, but they have to be careful as the Cubs are starting to play better. Brent Suter gets the nod and he has gone 1-1 with a 2.96 ERA in 10 games overall, including 1-1 with a 2.65 ERA in three games as a starter. Suter is now 1-3 with a 4.44 ERA in five career games as a starter and he is 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA in 13 games (one start) here at Miller Park in his career. He has made four appearances out of the pen against the Pirates in his career and he has allowed 0 ERs and three hits in 5.1 innings of work in those outings.

The Brewers have been a decent offensive team so far as they come in ranked 8th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.98 rpg, while also ranking 16th in hitting at .254 and 2nd in homers with 142. On the mound they have been solid so far as they come in ranked 8th in the league in ERA at 4.07, while also ranking 16th in WHIP at 1.35.


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Pirates Get Blanked By Cards

The Pirates are struggling to stay in the race in the National League Central and they will not be in it much longer if they don’t figure out a way to generate more offense. They scored five runs in game one of their series against the Cardinals, but in game two they were blanked, despite getting nine hits in the game. They just couldn’t get the one needed to put runs on the board. The Pirates have now averaged just 4.10 rpg in their last 10 games and they have put up just 3.67 rpg at home for the year. They have been getting solid pitching this year, especially of late as they have a 3.07 ERA in their last 10 games, but unless their offense comes around then they will continue to be a mediocre team with no postseason in their future this year. The Pirates are just 22-23 at home for the year. Chad Kuhl will toe the rubber for the Pirates in this one and he has gone 3-6 with a 4.96 ERA in 18 starts on the year, including 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his last three starts and 1-4 with a 6.46 ERA in nine starts here at home. Kuhl has gone 1-0 with a 2.97 ERA in six career starts in July and he is 3-7 with a 6.68 ERA in 15 career starts here at PNC Park, while against the Brewers in his career he has gone 2-0 with a 2.21 ERA in four starts.

Pittsburgh has been a poor offensive team this year so far as they come in ranked 24th in the league in scoring, putting up just 4.21 rpg, while also ranking 23rd in hitting at .243 and 29th in homers with 88. On the mound they have been average so far as they come in ranked 12th in the league in ERA at 4.17, while also ranking 14th in WHIP at 1.34.

Trends

Milwaukee is:

  • 8-0 in their last eight games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30
  • 5-0 in their last five vs. a team with a losing record

Pittsburgh is:

  • 2-11 in Kuhl’s last 13 starts vs. a team with a winning record
  • 3-13 in their last 16 Monday games

Brent Suter has not pitched much this year so far, but when he is in there as a starter he has pitched well as he has a 2.65 ERA in his three starts so far, but Chad Kuhl has started to turn things around as he has a 2.25 ERA over his last three starts. Kuhl has really struggled in this park in his career, but he has a 2.21 ERA in his four career starts against the Brewers and backing him up is a bullpen that has a 2.14 ERA in their last 10 games. Still, I see the Brewers walking away with a win in this one. They have the momentum and the better offense and Kuhl is 1-4 with a 6.46 ERA at home this year. Look for a good game, with the Brewers taking a close one.

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Pick: Milwaukee +110*

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