After losing five of six games on the road to NL East opponents, the Brewers return home to take on their division rival Pittsburgh Pirates as they continue to chase the Reds for the top spot in the division. A series at home will hopefully help the Crew get back to their winning ways.
Milwaukee has made multiple moves as of late to bolster their lineup, acquiring Carlos Santana from the Pirates and Mark Canha from the Mets. Both players have power and definitely improve the offense. Christian Yelich has also had a resurgence in recent months, so look for him to continue to hit against the Pittsburgh pitching staff.
Bryan Reynolds and Andrew McCutchen have been the main producers in this Pirates offense and can provide problems for Milwaukee, especially Reynolds. Jack Suwinski leads the Pirates in home runs with 21, so he could also be a main contributor in the series.
Probable Pitching Matchups
Thursday, August 3 @ 6:15 p.m.: Adrian Houser (3-3) vs. Mitch Keller (9-7)
Houser has been an important arm for an injury-prone rotation this season, as he has been the main starter out of the bullpen this year and has been solid in his 12 starts. Houser has posted a 4.43 ERA but struggled in his last outing, so he’ll look to bounce back against the Pirates.
Mitch Keller has been one of the Pirates' best pitchers, posting a 3.97 ERA with nine wins on the year and 145 strikeouts en route to an All-Star appearance. Keller allowed two runs in his last outing, and he has been taken advantage of before, so look for Milwaukee to be aggressive against him.
Friday, August 4 @ 7:10 p.m.: Colin Rea (5-4) vs. Quinn Priester (2-1)
Colin Rea is in the same boat as Houser, who has come in to eat up innings while Woodruff and Wade Miley have been hurt throughout the year. Rea has posted a 4.76 ERA in his 18 starts this season but also struggled his last time out against the Braves.
Milwaukee could have significant success in game two of this series with Quinn Priester on the mound for the Pirates. In his three starts, he has a 9.19 ERA and has allowed four home runs, so the power bats of the Brewers lineup may have a field day in the opening innings on Friday.
Saturday, August 5 @ 6:10 p.m.: Corbin Burnes (9-6) vs. TBD
Burnes has been dealing recently and has looked a lot more like his Cy Young award-winning form. He is the clear ace of the Milwaukee rotation and has posted a 3.44 ERA in his 22 starts. Whenever Corbin is on the mound, the Brewers have a great chance to win.
Pittsburgh has not yet decided who will be on the mound in this game, but Milwaukee should have success considering the Pirates' rotation has struggled both against the Brewers and in general and has had a hard time getting quality starts from their rotation. With Burnes on the mound, Milwaukee should have an opportunity to win this game by scratching across a few runs.
Sunday, August 6 @ 1:10 p.m.: Freddy Peralta (7-8) vs. Johan Oviedo (5-11)
Peralta hasn’t had any real injury concerns this season which has been great for Milwaukee because he has been able to eat up innings, but he has been inconsistent thus far. Posting a 4.46 ERA, Freddy had his best game of the season two starts ago against the Reds when he fanned 13 batters. He allowed three runs in a win over the Nationals in his last outing.
Johan Oviedo has struggled this season, posting a 4.42 ERA and allowing 13 home runs in 22 starts for the Pirates. He has been able to pitch a lot of innings for them, but the team is just 8-14 when he starts this season, including a 2-8 record since June 10.
Devin Williams is one of the best relievers in baseball and, while he did receive a blown save and the loss in the series finale with the Nationals, neither of the runs were earned thanks to a pair of errors. Williams has been extremely consistent this season, with 27 saves and a 1.52 ERA. Milwaukee added Andrew Chafin at the trade deadline, a lefty reliever that can shut down opposing lineups late in games. This was a huge addition for the Brewers as they now have multiple late-inning setup options in Chafin, Hoby Milner, Joel Payamps, and Elvis Peguero, as well as emerging rookie Abner Uribe.
Pittsburgh has an All-Star closer in David Bednar, and he has been fantastic posting a 1.24 ERA with 22 saves. The rest of their bullpen has gone through struggles this season but pitchers like Dauri Moreta, Colin Holderman, and Jose Hernandez have provided some consistency out of the ‘pen.
With good pitching matchups and a bounce-back home series against a division rival, I’ll take the Brewers to win three of four games against an inconsistent Pirates team.