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Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates at Milwaukee Brewers

Aug 26, 2018 | mlb

Pittsburgh Pirates at Milwaukee Brewers 8/26/18
Time: 2:10 PM ET
Where: Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wis.
Listed Pitchers: Chris Archer (Pitt) & Chase Anderson (Mil)
TV: FS – Wisconsin, SportsNet Pittsburgh
Moneyline: Pirates +125/Brewers -135
Over/Under: 8.5

The Milwaukee Brewers, still trying to chase down what would be their first playoff appearance since 2011, meet up with the Pittsburgh Pirates for a rubber match Sunday in Brew City. How are we playing this game with our daily free MLB picks?

MLB Betting Line

Sunday’s MLB betting odds opened Milwaukee at around -140 over Pittsburgh, with an over/under of 8.5 runs. The early betting action then cut that spread down about a nickel, to approximately -135.

The Brewers could also be found getting upwards of +155 giving the run and a half on the MLB run line.

Sunday Set-Up

These teams have split the first two games of this series, Milwaukee winning Friday 7-6 in 15 innings, the Pirates winning Saturday 9-1. The Brewers let a one-run lead slip in the top of the ninth Friday and later trailed 6-4 into the bottom of the 15th inning. But a three-run rally saved the day. Then Saturday’s game was tied at 1-1 into the top of the seventh when Pittsburgh scored eight runs over its last three at-bats against the Milwaukee bullpen.

Saturday’s victory snapped a four-game losing streak for the Pirates, who are also only 3-9 over their last 12 games.

With Saturday’s defeat, the Brewers are 4-2 over their last six contests.

At 72-59 overall Milwaukee now trails the division-leading Cubs by 4.5 games in the NL Central, but also sits in a three-way tie with Arizona and Colorado in the battle for the second National League wild-card slot.

Meanwhile, at 64-66 Pittsburgh lags 7.5 games behind the Brewers, D-Backs, and Rockies in that NL wild-card scrum.

The Pirates leads this season series nine games to three.

Sunday’s Starting Arms

Anderson (8-7, 3.92), by our strict standards, is 11/25 on quality starts this season, but only one for his last three. Monday he limited Cincinnati to two runs on two solo homers through six innings of a 5-2 Milwaukee win but in his two starts previous to that against San Diego and Atlanta he allowed eight runs over 8 2/3 innings. And over his last four outings, he’s been tagged for seven homers. On the season the Brewers are 13-12 with Anderson, with the totals skewing toward the unders by a 15-8 margin.

In two previous starts, this year against the Pirates Anderson allowed seven runs and 11 hits, including four dingers, through 10 2/3 innings. Milwaukee lost both those games.

Archer (4-6, 4.41) is just 6/21 on quality starts this season and 0 for four since joining Pittsburgh in that trade with Tampa Bay. Monday he held Atlanta to one run through four innings, before leaving the game with a sore leg, but over his last four starts, he’s allowed 10 runs and 23 hits through 18 1/3 innings. On the season the Rays went 9-8 with Archer, while Pittsburgh is 2-2. And overs are 13-8 in Archer’s starts.

In one start last year with Tampa against the Brewers Archer allowed one run and three hits through six frames of a 2-1 Rays victory.

For our handicapping purposes here we’re calling this pitching match-up a push.

Sunday’s Batting Splits

Pittsburgh goes .256/.320/.410 in the team batting average/OBP/slugging percentage splits against right-handed pitching this season.

Milwaukee goes .251/.318/.415 against RH pitching.

We’ll call the splits with the sticks here a push, too.

The Bullpens

The Pirates bullpen owns a 4.05 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP.

The Brewers pen owns a 3.82 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. But this unit has faltered since the All-Star break, and those figures are higher right now than they’ve been all season.

We’re calling the bullpen comparison a push, also.

Totals Report

Unders are 32-31 in games played at Miller Park this year, which are averaging 8.8 total runs per.

Overs are 6-5-1 in Pirates-Brewers games this season.

Free MLB Picks

Milwaukee is 15 games above .500, 57-42, against right-handed starters this season, Pittsburgh 48-43. But sometimes – often, actually – baseball betting should come down to value. And the value here, with our main handicapping factors calling this game basically a push, resides with the underdog Pirates. We’re betting Pittsburgh here, and hoping the Brewers bullpen gets involved.