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Series Preview: Milwaukee Brewers @ Pittsburgh Pirates

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The Brewers play their last series of the year against Pittsburgh, hoping to stay hot

St Louis Cardinals v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

After demolishing the Chicago Cubs by a combined score of 37-9 to start the week, the Milwaukee Brewers will hope to stay hot against what’s probably now just the second-worst team in the division — the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Brewers will close out their season series against the Pirates this weekend, coming into these final three games with a 12-4 record against the Bucs already this year. The Brewers took 2 of 3 from them the list time they met earlier this month, with the only loss coming in extra innings with Blaine Hardy being forced into the tight situation due to Milwaukee’s COVID outbreak in the bullpen.

The game on August 3rd is actually the last time the Pirates have won, as they are now in the middle of an 8-game losing streak. The Brewers will help Pittsburgh set a new season-high losing streak if they’re able to complete another sweep — the longest Pirates losing streak of the year thus far has been 10 games.

The Lineup

Pittsburgh’s offense has been in the middle of a big funk during the losing streak, which is probably to be expected after they traded away some significant pieces before the trade deadline. They’ve scored just 18 runs in the last 8 games, and that number would look a lot worse if it weren’t for a 6-run outburst yesterday in an extra-innings loss to St. Louis.

As you could’ve guessed, the only players really contributing during that stretch have been All-Star outfielder Bryan Reynolds and rookie third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes. Reynolds has hit 2 home runs in the last 7 days, driving in 5 of the team’s 17 runs in that time. Hayes, meanwhile, has put up a .922 OPS in 22 at-bats over the last week.

Noted Brewer Killer Colin Moran has also been solid, going 5-f r-15 with 2 home runs in the last week.

Everyone else? Woof.

The Probable Pitchers

Friday, 6:05 p.m. CDT - Brett Anderson vs. Mitch Keller

The young right-handed Keller will make his 15th start of the season tonight, but the first 14 have not gone particularly well. The 25-year-old and former top pitching prospect in the Pirates system comes into this start with a 7.06 ERA in 57.1 innings, carrying a sky-high 1.81 WHIP. He’s given up a ton of hard contact this year — his average exit velocity allowed of 91.9 mph is in the bottom 3% of the league — leading to 71 hits against him already despite the limited number of innings. In two starts this month, he’s allowed a combined 15 hits over 10 innings, with 4 ER allowed in each start.

Saturday, 6:05 p.m. CDT - TBD vs. Bryse Wilson

The return for Pittsburgh in the Richard Rodriguez trade with Atlanta, Wilson has actually pitched decently well in his first two outings as a Buc. We saw him in the previous series between these two teams, as he allowed just 1 run on 2 hits over 5 innings on August 2nd in a game the Brewers ended up winning against the Pittsbugh bullpen. He followed that up with a quality start against Cincinnati, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits over 6 innings while striking out 7 and not walking anyone.

Sunday, 12:05 p.m. CDT - TBD vs. TBD

Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference and Statcast