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MLB odds: Brewers vs. Pirates prediction, odds and pick – 8/3/2022

Brewers Pirates prediction

The Pittsburgh Pirates are set to host the Milwaukee Brewers today in the second matchup of a three-game set at PNC Park. With that said, it’s a good time to check out our MLB odds series, which includes our Brewers-Pirates prediction and pick we have laid out below.

Milwaukee made an interesting move at this week’s trade deadline, shipping All-Star closer Josh Hader to the San Diego Padres in exchange for pitchers Taylor Rogers and Dinelson Lamet and prospects Robert Gasser and Esteury Ruiz. Judging by the initial interviews out of the Brewers’ clubhouse, the team didn’t appear thrilled with losing the arm that had been their anchor in the ninth inning. Nonetheless, they still lead the National League Central at 57-46, two games ahead of the second-place St. Louis Cardinals, and are 7-3 over the last 10 games. As for the Pirates, they sit in dead-last in the division at 41-62, and have lost eight of their past 10 contests

The Brewers lost Tuesday’s series opener 5-3, but they still hold a 9-5 advantage over Pittsburgh this year.

Here are the Brewers-Pirates MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

MLB Odds: Brewers-Pirates Odds

Milwaukee Brewers: -1.5 (-137)

Pittsburgh Pirates: +1.5 (+114)

Over: 8.5 (-112)

Under: 8.5 (-108)

Why The Brewers Could Cover The Spread

It’s difficult to read much into today’s starting pitching matchup, with 26-year-old right-hander Freddy Peralta set to make his first MLB appearance since May 22 after dealing with a shoulder strain in his pitching arm. He has a 4.42 ERA in eight starts for Milwaukee this season, but he had a strong start to May — giving up four earned runs in 17 2/3 innings — before getting shelled for five earned runs in three innings in his final start before heading to the injured list. Peralta posted a 1.69 ERA with eight strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings in two minor league rehab starts.

There’s no question the Brewers have been the superior team at the plate this season, ranking among the top three in the National League in OPS, slugging percentage, home runs, and RBIs. By contrast, the Pirates rank last in the National League in OPS, slugging percentage, batting average, on-base percentage, and runs scored. They’ve been even worse over their last 10 games, too, batting .184 while being out-scored by 18 runs.

The recent performance of Kolten Wong, who is batting .471 with seven extra-base hits, two home runs, and four runs driven in over the last 10 games, only adds to the optimism for Milwaukee backers. In addition to Wong, Rowdy Tellez and Hunter Renfroe each have OPS figures above 1.000 since the All-Star break, with Christian Yelich close behind with a .994 OPS. Renfroe has a team-high six home runs and 14 RBIs during this stretch.

Why The Pirates Could Cover The Spread

Milwaukee has reason to feel good about Peralta’s current status after a pair of strong minor league outings, but the reality of the situation is he can’t be relied upon to go deep in the game in his first start back in the majors — nor would the Brewers risk re-injury as they gear up for a hopeful playoff run. This means the bullpen will play a key role today. Milwaukee ranks among the middle of the pack in the MLB with a 3.90 bullpen ERA, which isn’t bad by any stretch. However, heavy reliance on the relief staff is always a risky proposition, especially considering the Brewers just parted ways with their top bullpen arm.

Similar to Milwaukee, there is some uncertainty regarding the starting pitching situation for Pittsburgh, with Tyler Beede set to make his first start of the season. The 29-year-old right-hander has been highly reliable through 23 relief outings, however, posting a 3.12 ERA for the year with a 2.08 ERA over his last seven games. Beede also isn’t a stranger to the role he will be playing today, as he started 22 games as a rookie for the San Francisco Giants in 2019. He tossed two perfect innings on July 3 in his only appearance against Milwaukee this season.

While the 2022 season hasn’t been one to remember for the Pirates, there is some positivity to be gleaned from their recent showings against Milwaukee. After being swept in the first two series between the teams, Pittsburgh has won five of their last eight meetings.

Final Brewers-Pirates Prediction & Pick

It’s difficult to justify taking the Brewers at -1.5 (-137), given the lack of a payoff and the uncertainty surrounding Peralta in his first start back. On the flip side, the Pirates’ offensive futility is reason to avoid the temptation of taking them at +1.5, even at plus-money. Beede has been solid for Pittsburgh all year, but it’s unlikely for someone that is typically a reliever to go deep into the game. This means a Pirates bullpen that has the fourth-worst ERA in baseball will probably be called upon to play a big role, making the over a solid play as long as it doesn’t rise above 8.5 runs.

Final Brewers-Pirates Prediction & Pick: Over 8.5 (-112)