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Weekend MLB Series Preview: Pittsburgh Pirates Vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Friday Pitchers: Charlie Morton (6-2. 4.15 ERA) vs. Mike Fiers (4-7, ERA 3.96)
Morton is a career 3-6 against the Brewers, with an ERA of 4.11 in 12 starts, but has shutout the Brewers (7.1 innings) in his only start against them in 2015. The Pirates are entering the second half of the MLB season with the second most wins in the majors, thanks to winning three straight games against the league-leading St. Louis Cardinals. Morton should perform fine against the Brewers as the Pirates begin a very important second half.
With a 2-4 record and an ERA of 6.12 over 8 games, the Pirates have found a way to succeed against, who is now, the Brewers best pitcher. Fiers has one start against the Pirates in 2015, giving up 5 runs in 5 innings in a losing effort. He still has manage to post a very high strikeout rate against the Pirates, with 41 Ks over 32.1 innings pitched, but giving up 10 homeruns over those innings has been his downfall.
Probable Pitchers for Saturday's Game: Francisco Liriano (5-6, 2.98 ERA) vs. Jimmy Nelson (6-9, 4.21 ERA)
Liriano has been an excellent pitcher in 2015 with the majority of his success has come on the road, with an excellent 2.00 ERA and WHIP of 1.00. The Brewers may have a home run friendly park, but Liriano has given up less than a home run over 9 innings.
Nelson has produced some of his best performances against the Pirates in his young career, with a 2-1 record and a scintillating ERA of 1.00 over 18 innings. The Brewers will need Nelson to be at his best on Saturday and bettors should look for a low scoring affair that could realistically go either way.
Probable Pitchers for Sunday's Game: TBD vs. Taylor Jungmann (4-1, 2.15 ERA)
TBD…The Pirates pitcher has yet to announce their start for the Sunday's match-up but if the Pirates depth chart is any indicator it could be A.J. Burnett. In his lengthy career Burnett has struggled against the Brewers going 2-7 (over 12 starts to the tune of an ERA of 4.35). One of those losses occurred in 2015, but Burnett did post a quality start. Burnett is having a CY quality season (7-3, ERA 2.11) and is one of the main reasons the Pirates are one of the top teams in the MLB as the All-Star break expires.
Jungmann has been a blight spot on the lowly Brewers team in 2015. The rookie has average over 6 innings in his 7 major league starts. Though his ERA homeis only 1.80 in two career starts, his WHIP of 1.50 is somewhat daunting and if Burnett is the starting pitching, he may be in for more than he can handle.
Something to Watch… Former NL MVPs Andrew McCutchen (Pittsburgh) and Ryan Braun (Brewers)
The two outfielders are each once again having excellent seasons. Both outfielders are currently tied for seventh in the NL, with 56 RBIs at the end of the All Star break. The two players will provider bettors with some good prop options while playing in Miller Park in Milwaukee, one of best hitter parks in the majors.
The Pirates are entering the second half of the season as one of the hottest teams in baseball, while the Brewers have been in a continuous downspin since July of last year. The Pirates are primed to win the series if Burnett pitchers on Sunday, but Saturday’s game is too close to call for a sweep.
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