The Milwaukee Brewers take on the Arizona Diamondbacks. Check out our MLB odds series for our Brewers Diamondbacks prediction and pick.

Corbin Burnes gets the call for the Brewers, while Madison Bumgarner goes to the mound for the Diamondbacks.

Corbin Burnes has a 2.84 ERA, which is certainly very good, but his season — like the Brewers’ year — is going in the wrong direction. While Milwaukee slides further behind the San Diego Padres in the National League wild card chase, Burnes is slipping as an individual performer. In three of the first four months of the year, Burnes posted a month-specific ERA of under 2.10. In August, his month-specific ERA was 4.81.

At the All-Star break, Burnes had a 2.14 ERA and was right behind Sandy Alcantara in the National League Cy Young Award race. That ERA has risen by .70 runs in the last month and a half. In Burnes’ last three starts, he has pitched 15 1/3 innings and allowed 12 earned runs. It’s the worst possible time for Burnes to go through a slump. With Milwaukee losing the first two games of this series in Phoenix, Burnes has to stand tall and pitch like an ace on Saturday evening.

Madison Bumgarner used to be a staff ace for a World Series champion with the San Francisco Giants. These days, he is struggling to get hitters out. He has a 4.87 ERA. On June 21, just over two months ago, that ERA was 3.45.

The past eight starts have been a nightmare for Mad Bum. He has allowed at least five total runs and four earned runs in seven of those eight appearances. He has allowed at least seven hits in seven of those eight outings. Only once did he pitch past the sixth inning. It’s a rough scene for a man who was once one of the most dominant and feared pitchers in baseball.

Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Brewers-DiamondbacksMLB odds.

MLB Odds: Brewers-Diamondbacks Odds

Milwaukee Brewers: -1.5 (-105)

Arizona Diamondbacks: +1.5 (-114)

Over: 7.5 (-118)

Under: 7.5 (-104)

Why The Brewers Could Cover the Spread

The Brewers are crumbling. That’s obviously not a good reason to pick them. The reason to pick them is that after a few bad weeks of baseball, they have very little margin for error in the National League wild card race. They are just seven games over .500, which puts them 3.5 games behind the Philadelphia Phillies for the third wild card spot. They have 31 games left, which means that unless the Phillies collapse, they will probably need to win two out of every three games they play (20 of 31 at the very least) to make the Phillies earn a postseason bid. Urgency in September drives slumping teams to do better. This is that moment for Milwaukee.

Also: Corbin Burnes is going to pitch like an ace in what amounts to a virtual must-win situation for the Brew Crew. Madison Bumgarner has pitched horribly for the D-Backs. The pitching matchup is lopsided.

Why The Diamondbacks Could Cover the Spread

The Diamondbacks are hot. They swept the White Sox last weekend in Chicago. They won a series against the Phillies. They have won two straight from the Brewers and need just one more victory to win this four-game weekend series. The D-Backs aren’t beating the worst teams in baseball. They are beating teams in playoff contention, and they are making a push for a .500 record. Corbin Carroll, an elite prospect, has been great since being called up. This team is having fun and playing with very positive energy. The Brewers, meanwhile, look like a burdened team and are leaving lots of runners in scoring position. Corbin Burnes has struggled recently. The D-Backs have all the momentum.

Final Brewers-Diamondbacks Prediction & Pick

If the Brewers can’t win a game with their ace going against a very bad version of Madison Bumgarner, they’re toast in the wild card race. Milwaukee is a good play here.

Final Brewers-Diamondbacks Prediction & Pick: Brewers -1.5