Pittsburgh Pirates vs Milwaukee Brewers Prediction, Preview & Odds - August 2, 2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 8:10 p.m. ET
Venue: American Family Field, Milwaukee, WI
Where to watch: AT&T SportsNet - PIT, Bally Sports Wisconsin

Pirates: 40-65 (Last place, NL Central)
Brewers: 63-43 (1st place, NL Central)

Recent lineups

Ben Gamel (L) LF
Wilmer Difo (S) 2B
Bryan Reynolds (S) CF
Gregory Polanco (L) RF
John Nogowski (R) 1B
Rodolfo Castro (S) 3B
Hoy Park (L) SS
Michael Perez (L) C
Bryse Wilson (R) P

Tyrone Taylor (R) LF
Omar Narvaez (L) C
Willy Adames (R) SS
Eduardo Escobar (S) 3B
Rowdy Tellez (L) 1B
Lorenzo Cain (R) CF
Luis Urias (R) 2B
Jackie Bradley Jr. (L) RF
Eric Lauer (L) P

Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: Brewers -210, Pirates +175; Over 8.5 -120, Under 8.5 +100
BetMGM Sportsbook: Brewers -200, Pirates +165
FanDuel: Brewers -210, Pirates +176

Recent form
Pirates: Took two of three from Phillies, lost 15-4 Sunday
Milwaukee: Winners of five of six, took two of three at Atlanta

Brian Bitler landed a 3-0 sweep in yesterday's action with his Top Tier picks. Get Brian's Sunday MLB Best Bets at our Shop Picks page, where you can find all of today's entire Major League Baseball premium pick predictions.

Pirates - Brewers preview

Maybe the Milwaukee Brewers do have something going.

We’ve talked here the past few days about how there’s questions surrounding Milwaukee, that even running away with the National League Central, there would be questions.

But the Brewers took care of business over the weekend against the Atlanta Braves, and will carry a stretch of five wins in six games -- and seven in their last nine -- to a three-game home set against the Pittsburgh Pirates starting Monday.

“We’ve got a good squad, man,” said Brewers closer Josh Hader. “This is the best squad I’ve been on, and I think it starts in the clubhouse.”

The Brewers are 20 games above .500 and have found a way to keep the surging Cincinnati Reds at bay in the NL Central. Willy Adames hit a home run in the top of the first inning, and Brett Anderson threw 5.1 IP and allowed one earned run. He kept Atlanta’s best hitters quiet while the Milwaukee bullpen did its thing.

Milwaukee isn’t going to be the flashiest team on social media. Whether you’re scrolling the Twitter timeline or the Facebook page, the current Milwaukee batters aren’t going to be a likable option in the algorithm that the MLB picks as must-see TV.

Nevertheless, the Brewers are going to be one of the scariest teams come October. Between Adames’ power surge and the exciting outfield of Jackie Bradley Jr., and Lorenzo Cain, there’s plenty of reason to believe Milwaukee can be the social media contest darkhorse. In this era of baseball, is anyone really going to be surprised?

The teams meet again for the second time in about a week. The Brewers completed a sweep of the Pirates at PNC Park, culminating in a 12-0 win in the final game of a three-game set during a tangle Thursday.

But there’s a lot to be excited about this weekend for the Pirates, despite being obliterated 15-4 Sunday. The Pirates took advantage of a very tired Phillies club to take two of three and find some sense of hope for entertainment purposes.

Part of that was Mitch Keller’s return to the mound for Pittsburgh. The top prospect pitcher went 5 innings and gave up four runs, but struggled on accuracy at times.

“I think I executed a lot of good fastballs. I felt really good, confident,” Keller said. “I just think in the first and second innings, my breaking ball stuff was up in the zone.”

Those behind him didn’t help. Luis Oviedo allowed five runs in relief, and Cody Ponce allowed four in two innings. The Pirate offense didn’t help matters either with four runs on seven hits. Philadelphia, meanwhile, put the Pittsburgh batting numbers to shame with 15 runs on 20 hits.

Daily sports are weird like that, especially in the era of COVID we live in. One day you could be getting calls regarding your car’s extended warranties, fiddling around trying to get your fantasy baseball lineup set and maximizing your free bets. Then, all of a sudden, a Pirates team that just traded Adam Frazier and LHP Tyler Anderson can win against the star-studded Phillies team. No, the Pirates odds did not change with this development, but imagine someone making their first bet and winning this weekend.

That’s how you get new customers to the fold; watch the team’s money line and go to work. Imagine what can change in just two games of this series.


This matchup is a bettor’s nightmare. The Brewers have been underwhelming as a dominant favorite; they’re only 9-6 (-2.2 units) when a favorite of -175 to -250. The Pirates are 12-19 (+4 units) when an underdog of +175 to +250.

The reliability of any content when it comes to betting this game is bad. It’s a full list of shenanigans. When runners get on base, who’s going to come through? Projected starting pitcher Eric Lauer is 3-4 this season for the Brewers when they’re a favorite of -110 or higher. Factor in his career era of 4.57 and it could be a mess.

Milwaukee will feel much better when RHP Freddy Peralta gets on the mound this series.

Bryse Wilson for the Pirates is 1-1 as an underdog of +100 or more.

This game favors offense with first pitch right at the evening. Plus, the Brewers have to feel good the way they’re slugging. Hopefully the weather forecast is on the right side of things.


The Pirates won the Battle of PA, much to the fans of Pittsburgh’s delight. They’ve needed something to cheer for. Unfortunately, that’s where the good fun ends. Newsrooms and news coverage will soon find the Brewers to be a fun team. If you can access USA Today Sports, tell them you need more Brewers in your life because they’re camping in the box with a few RBI their way.

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert baseball picks today.  And if you enjoyed this Pittsburgh Pirates - Milwaukee Brewers prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily MLB projections and previews.

Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

© 2022 Al McMordie's BigAl.com. All Rights Reserved.