MLB Baseball Betting: Pittsburgh Pirates at Milwaukee Brewers

MLB Baseball Betting:  Pittsburgh Pirates at Milwaukee Brewers

The Pittsburgh Pirates lost game one of this three game weekend set against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park and as strange as it may sound their season could be on the line during the next week. The Pirates have a string of six very winnable road games against ‘bottom feeders’ in their respective divisions. The Milwaukee Brewers are in fourth place in the NL Central 7 games back of Pittsburgh but only four games ahead of last place Cincinnati (who has been playing well of late winning 7 of 10). Following the three game set with Milwaukee they head to Atlanta to play three games against the Braves at Turner Field. The Braves are 10 games behind the Philadelphia Phillies for fourth place in the NL East and 3 games back of the Minnesota Twins for the dubious ‘worst record in baseball’ distinction. (All records pending Saturday night results)

The Pirates are now 3 games back of the second place St. Louis Cardinals and 9 games back of the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs haven’t been dominant like they were in the early part of the season but they’ve won 6 of 10 and appear to have found some stability after their horrible run up to the All Star Game. The Cardinals have won 7 of 10 and are also in good form. If Pittsburgh can’t put some wins in the bank during the next week they could find themselves with a double digit deficit to make up–and that’s tough to do.

It’ll be a battle of struggling pitchers on Sunday with the Pirates sending lefthander Francisco Liriano against Milwaukee’s Matt Garza. The Pirates have lost 11 of Liriano’s 20 starts this season including 5 of 9 on the road and 2 of his last 3. He’s got a YTD ERA of 5.38 with a 1.610 WHIP, a 6.52 road ERA with a 1.711 WHIP and a 6.75 L3 ERA with a 1.562 WHIP. He’s coming off a horrible start at home against Seattle on 7/26 when he went only 3 1/3 innings giving up 8 hits, 2 HR, 7 ER and 4 walks against 3 strikeouts. He did pitch well in his previous two games including a very solid effort against the Brewers on 7/21.

Milwaukee will start Matt Garza–the Brewers have lost 6 of the right hander’s 8 starts and both of his starts at home. He’s got a 5.74 ERA overall with a 1.677 WHIP and a 5.25 home ERA with a 1.417 WHIP. We’ll give Pittsburgh a slight edge here and back them to avoid the sweep.