The Milwaukee Brewers try to extend their eight-game winning streak when they take on the host Pittsburgh Pirates in the first of a four-game weekend series between National League Central rivals on Thursday night. The series opener is scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. ET first pitch at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
The Brewers are coming off a three-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs at home, ending a perfect 6-0 homestand. Milwaukee is 48-33 and in first place in the NL Central, leading the second-place Cubs by six games and the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds by eight games.
Pittsburgh has dropped three in a row to fall to 29-50. The Pirates are in last place in the NL Central, trailing the Cardinals and the Reds by 10 games.
The MLB odds for this contest have the Brewers as the favorites at -230, while the Pirates are listed at +190. The over/under for the game has been set at eight runs.
On a Roll
Milwaukee scored 31 runs in the three-game sweep of Chicago, including 15 in Wednesday’s series finale. The Brewers spotted the Cubs a 7-0 lead after the first half-inning and dominated the rest of the game.
“It was a weird feeling,” second baseman Jace Peterson said after Wednesday’s win. “Even when we got back in the dugout (after the top of the first inning), a few people were saying (we would come back), and you could tell that we were going to win the game. It was a pretty cool feeling from the beginning.”
It was the first time since August 2019 that a team had trailed by seven runs and went on to win by at least seven runs. Milwaukee had done it previously in July 1990, when it rallied from a 7-0 deficit against the Los Angeles Angels to win 20-7. Wednesday was the first time that both teams had led by at least seven runs by the fourth inning of a contest.
Third baseman had two home runs, finishing 4-for-5 with a double, four RBIs and three runs scored. Urias now has 10 home runs and 39 RBIs in 76 games.
The Brewers rallied even with their top home run hitter, Avisail Garcia, taking the day off. Garcia has 15 home runs and 46 RBIs but he was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts on Tuesday, so he got some rest in the series finale. He homered in each of his previous two games.
Milwaukee will have right-hander Corbin Burnes on the mound. The 26-year-old is 3-4 with a 2.53 ERA, striking out 115 and walking 14 in 74.2 innings.
Burnes has one start against Pittsburgh this season, taking a no-decision in the June 12 contest after allowing three earned runs on nine hits over four innings. He doesn’t have a decision in any of his last three starts, including a six-inning stint against Colorado on Friday in which he gave up just one run on three hits in a contest Milwaukee won in extra innings.
The Pirates had some good feelings after a four-game series against St. Louis last weekend that saw Pittsburgh win three times and score a total of 21 runs. Then came a three-game set at Colorado in which the Pirates were swept and scored just two runs total.
The inconsistency of the team’s offense has been a problem all season, with the Pirates ranking 29th in baseball with their 277 runs. Pittsburgh’s 59 home runs are easily the fewest in the major leagues.
Top 10 hitters
The Pirates do have two of the top 10 hitters in the game as far as batting average goes, with Adam Frazier ranking sixth (.327) and Bryan Reynolds 10th (.316). Frazier has 24 doubles to tie for second in the majors while also hitting four home runs, driving in 28 runs and scoring 50 times.
Reynolds leads the Pirates with 14 home runs and 45 RBIs . He went 2-for-2 with a home run in Wednesday’s loss.
Right-hander Wil Crowe will get the start for Pittsburgh. The 26-year-old is 1-4 with a 6.50 ERA, striking out 40 and walking 22 over 45.2 innings in 10 starts and 11 overall appearances.
Crowe picked up his first win in his last outing, facing the Cardinals on Friday and going five innings, allowing four runs on eight hits, including two home runs. On June 13, he got a start against the Brewers and lasted five innings, giving up two runs on two hits while striking out eight and walking one.
The Brewers are one of the hottest teams in baseball and they’re brimming with confidence, as Wednesday’s comeback showed. They have won four of the first six meetings this season, though all of them were played in Milwaukee.
Adrian Houser (4-5, 4.16 ERA) will get the start on Friday for Milwaukee, followed by Eric Lauer (2-3, 4.50) and Freddy Peralta (7-2, 2.17). The Pirates will have JT Brubaker (4-7, 3.82) on Friday and Tyler Anderson (3-8, 4.75) on Sunday, with no starter named for Saturday’s contest.
The series prices for this divisional matchup have the Brewers as the favorites at -280 while the Pirates are listed at +210.
Brewers Take Opener
Milwaukee is rolling and should be able to get some runs on the board against Crowe. The Pirates are better at home, but have managed just a 16-21 record at PNC Park.
When doing your MLB betting, take Milwaukee to win on the road.