Milwaukee Brewers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Pick 8/7/19
Milwaukee Brewers (59-56) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (48-65)
When: 7 p.m., Wednesday, August 7
Where: PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Moneyline: MIL Off/PIT Off
Runline: Brewers Off/Bucs Off
Starting Pitchers: Drew Pomeranz (2-9, 5.54 ERA, 1.59 WHIP) vs. Trevor Williams (4-4, 4.75 ERA, 1.32 WHIP)
Do the Collapse
Remember when the Pirates were a dark horse for a wild card spot, sitting at 44-45 after two wins against Milwaukee? Yeah, that’s completely gone now. Pittsburgh is 4-20 since the All-Star break, and the Pirates haven’t been competitive in most of these games. Pittsburgh waved the white flag on the season by dealing Jordan Lyles and Corey Dickerson, but the Pirates have not yet brought up their prospects to try to get something out of this lost season. Shortstop Cole Tucker and third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes remain at Triple-A Indianapolis, as does top pitching prospect Mitch Keller. Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is openly questioning whether the Pirates can completely fall apart and lose 100 games this season.
In short, it’s not a great time to be a Pittsburgh Pirate. The question is, will that toxic clubhouse atmosphere keep the Pirates in a downward spiral, or do the few genuine major leaguers left in the Steel City still have something to play for?
This spot was supposed to be Zach Davies’ turn in the rotation, but the Brewers received terrible news Monday when Davies went down with back spasms, landing him on the 10-day injured list and forcing him to miss Wednesday’s start. Making matters worse, Davies is the third Milwaukee starter (Brandon Woodruff, Jhoulys Chacin) to find his way to the injured list.
So what do the Brewers do now? Luckily, Chase Anderson came one out away from a quality start on Tuesday, going 5.2 innings in a 4-3 win over the Bucs, so Milwaukee was able to save most of its bullpen arms. Plus, the schedule is favorable. The Brewers don’t have to worry about a Thursday game, and thanks to the time difference, if they get a good start on Friday, their relievers will have a full 48 hours to recover from this game before any of them are asked to throw against Texas. Drew Pomeranz will get the call, but he’s not expected to go more than a couple of innings.
Plus, Milwaukee badly needs to complete this sweep. St. Louis and Chicago are still very much within striking distance of the Brewers, but behind the Brew Crew, the Cincinnati Reds are heating up and threatening to pull themselves right back into the race. With the Reds hot on their heels and the Cubs and Cardinals only a couple of games ahead, the Brewers cannot afford to leave games against the likes of the Pirates on the table.
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While the Pirates have been struggling badly, Trevor Williams has pitched pretty decently. In his last two outings, he’s held his opponent to three runs each time. However, there’s one major concern here: both of those starts came against the Mets. Other than facing the Mets, Williams has had some serious issues, as he’s only managed to pull out a solid performance in one of his past five non-Mets starts. In his previous starts, he’s conceded an average of six runs a game against the Cubs twice, the Astros and the Tigers, the last of whom isn’t exactly known for putting up big numbers.
So which one is the real Williams? It’s tough to tell because Williams’ performances were coming before the Pirates started to fall apart. But based on what’s occurred this season, it seems that his recent progress is a mark of facing the Mets rather than any real progress.
Milwaukee has controlled this series quite well throughout the year, owning an 11-4 mark against Pittsburgh. The Brewers haven’t had any issues at all against the Pirates at PNC Park either, winning six of nine in Pennsylvania. This match marks the final game of the season between the teams at PNC Park, but they will play one more series in Milwaukee.
- The Brewers have won their past four road games against a team with a losing record.
- The Pirates have lost their past seven Game 3’s of the series.
- The Pirates are 0-7 in their past seven against teams with a winning record.
- The under is 5-0 in the Brewers’ past five Wednesday games.
- The over is 4-1 in the Brewers’ past five road games against a team with a losing record.
- The over is 12-2 in the Pirates’ past 14 Wednesday games.
The temperature is projected to be at 82 degrees when the first pitch is thrown.
It’s hard to pick a team that’s throwing a bullpen game, but the Pirates are seriously a mess right now. Pittsburgh isn’t showing anything that suggests it’s going to be competitive the rest of the way, and Milwaukee absolutely has to have this game if it’s going to keep pace with the rest of the Central. Milwaukee hasn’t looked fantastic as of late, but the Brewers are in much better shape than the Pirates, they have much more to play for, and the schedule is set up perfectly for them to throw caution to the wind and survive a bullpen game.
It’s certainly a risk, but give me the Brew Crew here.
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