Game time: 7:05 p.m. ET; Thursday, July 29, 2021
Venue: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA
Where to watch: Bally Sports Wisconsin, AT&T SportsNet-PIT, MLBN
Kolten Wong (L) 2B
Willy Adames (R) SS
Omar Narvaez (L) C
Avisail Garcia (R) RF
Rowdy Tellez (L) 1B
Tyrone Taylor (R) LF
Lorenzo Cain (R) CF
Luis Urias (R) 3B
Freddy Peralta (R) P
Ben Gamel (L) LF
Ke'Bryan Hayes (R) 3B
Bryan Reynolds (S) CF
Gregory Polanco (L) RF
John Nogowski (R) 1B
Jacob Stallings (R) C
Rodolfo Castro (S) 2B
Kevin Newman (R) SS
Chad Kuhl (R) P
Batting average: Kolten Wong (.296)
Home runs: Avisail Garcia (17)
RBI: Garcia (59)
Stolen bases: Wong (7)
Wins: Brent Suter (9)
ERA: Corbin Burnes (2.12)
Saves: Josh Hader (21)
Batting average: Bryan Reynolds (.309)
Home runs: Reynolds (18)
RBI: Reynolds (57)
Stolen bases: Gregory Polanco (11)
Wins: JT Brubaker (4)
ERA: Chad Kuhl (4.38)
Saves: Richard Rodriguez (14)
Opening odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Brewers -190, Pirates +160; Over 8 -110, Under 8 -110
Just when things were going well for the Milwaukee Brewers, the next 10 days will put that to the test.
Former National League MVP Christian Yelich has to quarantine for 10 days for testing positive for COVID-19 despite being vaccinated. Not that it's mattered for Yelich, who has been downright awful as is, but it's another indication that teams will need to dig deep into their resources to make a playoff push.
Fortunately for the Brewers, they've been plenty good sitting with a seven-game lead in the National League Central over the Cincinnati Reds. It also helps their immediate focus turns to the last-place Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Brewers have rebounded fine after losing three of four at home to the Reds starting July 8. Milwaukee has won six of eight contests entering the early stages of a six-game east-coast road trip. The first game of the three-game series at Pittsburgh on Tuesday was a 9-0 win for Milwaukee after six innings of shut-out ball, and three hits allowed, from Brett Anderson.
Meanwhile, the Pirates have played like they've been called numerous times about their car's extended warranties. To be able to apply such a horrendous stretch of baseball, highlighted by shipping Adam Frazier to San Diego, Pittsburgh has lost six of eight. Three of those losses came by hand of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Just imagine if that was a four-game sweep. Odds are the Pirates forgot what time first pitch was. Hopefully none of you have any Pirates on your fantasy baseball team.
How weird of a year has it been for the Brewers?
They are great. They're winning games. But their starting pitchers have combined for only 32 of their 59 wins. Their winningest pitcher is Brent Suter -- a relief pitcher. Josh Hader has done well with 21 saves out of 24 opportunities. Clearly the Brewers are winning games for entertainment purposes.
Brandon Woodruff, Freddy Peralta and Corbin Burnes all have an ERA under 2.50 and have allowed 22 home runs combined. So someone's doing something right.
The case can't be said for the Pirates. The only bright spot is Bryan Reynolds literally carrying the team on his back with his 18 home runs and .309 batting average. The outfielder is batting .366 (15-for-41) in his past 10 games, with six multi-hit games. He went 2-for-4 on Sunday at San Francisco in a 6-1 loss. Pittsburgh has been outscored 15-1 in its past two games entering Wednesday. The first-time All-Star has come out swinging from the all-star break.
Brewers - Pirates preview
Peralta is the projected starting pitcher for the Brewers. The 25-year-old has been Milwaukee's top ace and has exceeded all expectations. His accuracy has been on point; his WHIP the past seven games is a 0.92. No one is running on him. The Pirates odds of getting anything off him is not likely. If you haven't watched a Brewers game, Peralta will make new customers out of all of you.
For the Pirates, Chad Kuhl is expected to get the start. He's won three out of his five starts but has gotten serious run support. He's had 14 ER in 36 IP but has thrown 17 walks in that time. There's a clear discrepancy of the starters in this game. This will also be the start of the era without LHP Tyler Anderson in Pittsburgh. How they replace him will be interesting to watch.
- Peralta gets the job done when the total hits 8. The Brewers are 6-1 (+3.9 units) when the ace pitches and the runs are coming in.
- But a word of caution: When the Brewers are favored between -175 and -250, the Brewers are 1-3 when Peralta pitches. Nevertheless, that should be helped against the Pirates. Yet the Pirates are 3-0 (+5.2 units) when Kuhl starts as an underdog of at +125 or higher.
It's a full list of reasons why the Brewers should win, and this should be no different. Daily sports can be a fickle thing, but not on this day. Expect the Brewers to win, 5-1, with Peralta pitching a gem.
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