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Series Preview: Milwaukee Brewers @ Pittsburgh Pirates

The Brewers face a Pirates club that may look a lot different by the end of the series with the trade deadline looming

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Colorado Rockies Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

After a fun weekend series against the Chicago White Sox, the Brewers head back on the road to close out July with a trip to the House of Horrors in Pittsburgh.

Things may be a bit less scary than usual, though, as we’re in Trade Deadline Week and the Pirates have already made a couple of deals to sell off pieces and further build depth in a quickly-rising farm system. The deals so far have included reliever Clay Holmes and the infamous Brewer Killer Adam Frazier.

The Lineup

The Brewers are getting a bit of good fortune in playing the Pirates in the days leading up to the trade deadline. Frazier, of course, was long a thorn in the Brewers’ side and was enjoying a career season, earning an All-Star appearance and hitting .324/.388/.448 to this point, racking up 2.9 fWAR.

The Pirates still have Bryan Reynolds in the lineup (at least for now, it seems unlikely he will be one of the players moved before the deadline), and he’s still excellent. He’s been the most valuable Pirate by far this year, as he’s put up a .312/.394/.528 line with 23 doubles, 18 home runs and 57 driven in while playing good defense. With Frazier out of the picture, Reynolds now leads the team in every major offensive statistic.

There isn’t much help around Reynolds, but prospect Ke’Bryan Hayes has been solid in his age-24 season, hitting .263/.340/.407 in 46 games, although he struggled in July with a .257/.321/.378 line. Old friend Ben Gamel has hit half of his 6 home runs against the Brewers this year and is hitting .261/.333/.443 in 61 games as a Pirate.

The Probable Pitchers

Tuesday, 6:05 p.m. CDT - Brett Anderson vs. Tyler Anderson

We don’t have much nailed down in terms of who’s pitching what night in this series, and this matchup could change too, as reports are the Pirates are working to trade Tyler Anderson before he makes this start tonight. The lefty has put up a 4.35 ERA/4.26 FIP in 18 starts this year, but in a subpar starting pitching market this deadline season, the Pirates could end up getting a good deal for him in the next few days. Like Frazier, the Brewers likely won’t be sad to see him go — he threw 7 shutout innings against them on the 4th of July, holding them to just 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 6.

Wednesday, 6:05 p.m. CDT - TBD vs. TBD

(shruggity) We’ll see what happens? Adrian Houser piggybacking with Freddy Peralta the other day and Monday’s off-day likely shuffled plans for the last two games of this series from the Brewers’ perspective. The Pirates may not know who’s on their roster.

Thursday, 6:05 p.m. CDT - TBD vs. Chad Kuhl

Kuhl has put up a 4.38 ERA in 13 starts, but that might be a mighty lucky number since his FIP is at 5.37. He’s walked a ton of batters this year — 5 every 9 innings — and doesn’t miss many bats. The Brewers haven’t faced him since April, when they scored 3 times over 5 innings against him, including solo home runs from Dan Vogelbach and Avi Garcia. He seems unlikely to be traded for much of anything this year, so it’s fairly likely he’ll still make this start.

Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference