The Brewers and the Pirates may only be fighting for second place in the NL Central but in the wild card race, both of these teams are very much alive (7.05pm ET today, Wednesday, September 19).
For this reason, this series will be absolutely pivotal as with less than 20 games remaining, every inning left to be played is going to be important.
These two teams, just 2.5 back, are fighting for one wild card spot. Likely this series will make or break one of them and in the end, could decide which team is playoff bound.
The Pitching Match-Up: Kyle McPherson vs. Marco Estrada
It is an interesting pitching match-up scheduled for the Wednesday game of this series. The Brewers have Marco Estrada, a right handed pitcher with four years major league experience on the mound. He is currently 3-6 on the year with a 3.77 ERA and 125 strikeouts. He is coming off of a strong outing where he pitched 6.2 innings, gave up four hits, no runs and struck out six on his way to a shutout victory over the Atlanta Braves.
BetOnline Betting Lines (accepts all USA clients) money line:
-130 Brewers; +120 Pirates
Bovada (all US except Maryland, Utah, NY, Washington) money line:
-130 Brewers; +120 Pirates
Bet365 (for UK & all non-USA residents) money line:
25/33 Brewers; 61/50 Pirates
Opposing him for the Pirates is Kyle McPherson, who is making his debut in the Pittsburgh starting rotation. In his rookie season, the young September call-up has pitched strong. He has an ERA of 1.54 and has struck out eleven in 11.2 innings. The righty will start in place of James McDonald who has struggled in the second half of the season.
Power, Speed and Defense: The Offensive Battle of Ryan Braun and Andrew McCutchen
It is not often that a game will feature two of the most prolific offensive players in the game but that is exactly what will happen when the Brewers and Ryan Braun come into town to face the Pirates and Andrew McCutchen.
It is hard to believe, but Braun is actually having a better year this year than he did when he won the MVP in 2011. On the season Braun is batting .314 with 103 RBI. He is second in the NL in RBI and runs scored. He is first in HR with 40, slugging with .602 and OPS with a brilliant .989.
Most of Braun’s success has unsurprisingly come against left handed pitchers. That said, he has been solid in nearly every hitting situation. Against righties like he will see in McPherson, Braun is hitting .295 with 94 strike outs in 407 at-bats. Although his average is higher against lefties (.366), all of Braun’s power numbers are higher against righties. 23 of his 40 HR, 65 of his 103 RBI and 64 of his 95 runs scored have come against right handed pitchers.
Braun would no doubt win the NL MVP again if it wasn’t for another outfielder by the name of Andrew McCutchen.
In what can really be considered his coming out party to the league, the 25-year-old McCutchen has absolutely blown the cover off of the ball all season long. He is a big part of the reason why the Pirates are still alive in the wild card and why they could be looking at their first season over the .500 mark in twenty years.
BetOnline Betting Lines (all USA clients) run line:
+120 Brewers -1.5; -140 Pirates +1.5
Bovada (all US except M’land, Utah, NY, W’gton) run line:
+120 Brewers -1.5; -150 Pirates +1.5
Bet365 (for UK & all non-USA residents) run line:
6/5 Brewers -1.5; 5/7 Pirates +1.5
McCutchen was always known for his speed and ability to make incredible defensive plays has really become an offensive producer as well. He leads the league with 100 runs scored, is second in the NL in batting average (.339) and second only to Braun in OPS. In addition, McCutchen has 182 hits, 26 doubles and 18 stolen bases.
At PNC Park, the home of the Pirates, McCutchen has been especially brilliant. He is hitting .344 at home has 49 RBI and 12 HR. He is equally as good in night games hitting .367 with 16 home runs and 39 RBI.
What You Need to Know
Before you place a bet, here are some additional things that could definitely affect the outcome of the game.
- The Brewers are the highest scoring team in the National League. They average 4.8 runs per game and have scored 6+ runs 28 times in the second half of the season. They are coming off of a 6-0 shutout of the Pirates from the first game in the series.
- As the underdog, Pittsburgh is 33-48 on the season. As the favorites, the Brewers are 50-39. Against right handed pitchers the Pirates are 53-54 and the Brewers are 51-53. For this game, the Pirates are underdogs and the Brewers are ranked as the favorites with the sportsbooks. Both pitchers are right handers.
- Brewers pitcher Marco Estrada is averaging 9.43 K/9 and a season high five strikeouts per walk. The Pirates as a team are second worst in the league with 8.3 strikeouts a game. Pirates pitcher Kyle McPherson is averaging nearly a strikeout an inning. The Brewers as a team have the worst strikeout rate as they lead the league with 8.6 strikeouts a game.
- Including the first game of this series, the Brewers are 8-3 in their last 11 games and are winners of three in a row. The Pirates on the other hand are 2-9 in their last eleven including losing their last game and a skid of seven games lost in a row.
- The Brewers lead the season series nine games to four. They have won the last five as well.
Brewers v Pirates Picks & Betting Advice
- In the second game of this pivotal series, take the Brewers to land the victory on the money line @ -130 (BetOnline Sportsbook) or -133 (Bovada). We would not put you off a Brewers run line bet -1.5 either.
- The Pirates are going against a sub-par pitcher and the Brewers always find a way to score. Take over 8 on the run line @ at -105 with BetOnline Sportsbook (-115 with Bovada).
- Non-Americans can place the same bets with Bet365 Bookmaker.