Jeff Locke (7-10, 4.56 ERA) and Zach Davies (1-0, 3.97 ERA) take the hill in the third of a four-game series between the Pittsburgh Pirates (84-56) and the Milwaukee Brewers (62-79) at PNC Park. The Pirates won the last game 6-3 and the series is currently tied 1-1. Action begins at 7:05 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sep. 12 and can be seen on FSWI and RTPT.
Locke pitched 5.0 innings in his most recent start, surrendering one, striking out six and walking two in a 3-1 defeat to the Reds. Andrew McCutchen (.299, 84 Rs, 22 HRs, 90 RBIs, 7 SBs) went 1 for 2 yesterday with two runs. Davies went 7.0 innings, surrendering one run and striking out four in a 9-1 win over the Marlins in his last outing.
Pittsburgh is a -171 favorite against Milwaukee and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at eight runs. The Pirates have recorded an overall money line of +1,553 and have shown high-level performance as a favorite this season with a record of 65-33. Pittsburgh has had a discouraging season against division opponents, earning records of 18-19 and 25-35 as the favorite and SU respectively. The Pirates have no trouble scoring as they rank fourth in the NL in offense with 4.2 runs per game. The Pirates are one of the best in the NL in terms of hits with an impressive 9.1 per game. Pittsburgh's pitchers fall apart when division rivals are on the field. Its average runs allowed per game rises to 4.3 against fellow NL Central members, compared to its 3.7 season average.
In games where it is the underdog, Milwaukee has a 36-49 record and an overall money line of -1,464. They played solid baseball as the underdog over their last 10 games with a 7-1 record, and a 7-3 record SU. Offensively, the Brewers have really picked up the pace in the last 10 games. They have exceeded their season average of 4.2 runs per game by averaging 6.0 during that stretch. The Brewers average 4.5 runs allowed per game, but does better whenever another team from the NL Central is on the schedule. They bring that runs allowed average down to 4.0 against division foes.
The Brewers lead the season series, 10-7. The Pirates have a 68-43 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Davies takes the mound. Locke (LHP) will be on the hill against the Brewers, who have a 19-15 record against left-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - Pit, O/U - Over
The Pirates are 26-35 against their divisional rivals, while the Brewers are 27-31 against their division.
Pittsburgh has won 51% (31-30) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Milwaukee has won 52% (34-32) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Brewers are coming off of a weak pitching game where they recorded six strikeouts. The Pirates have a record of 28-13 when opponents' pitchers have that many strikeouts or fewer.
When they outhit their opponents, the Brewers are 47-11. The Pirates have a 60-7 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 18th, Milwaukee sits in the bottom half of the league in runs, scoring 584 this season. Pittsburgh ranks in the top half at 14th with 597.
Ranking 23rd, Milwaukee is near the bottom of the league in walks, notching 360 this season. Pittsburgh ranks in the bottom half at 17th with 387.
When the Pirates hit at least one home run, they are 55-26, well-matched with the Brewers who are 48-32 when hitting one or more homers.