Charlie Morton (8-7, 4.07 ERA) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (83-56) meet Jimmy Nelson (11-11, 3.86 ERA) and the Milwaukee Brewers (62-78) in the second of a four-game division series at PNC Park. The Brewers won the last game 6-4 and Milwaukee leads the series 1-0. The game starts at 7:05 p.m. ET on Friday, Sep. 11 and will air on FSWI and RTPT.
In his last start, Morton pitched 6.0 innings, allowing one, striking out three and walking three in a 4-1 loss to the Cardinals. Jung Ho Kang (.288, 57 Rs, 15 HRs, 56 RBIs, 5 SBs) continued his strong season yesterday, going 2 for 6 with one run. The Brewers were unsuccessful to the Reds 6-3 the last time Nelson pitched. He went 5.0 innings, allowing five runs, striking out three and walking two. Ryan Braun (.289, 83 Rs, 25 HRs, 83 RBIs, 22 SBs) has been doing well offensively for the Brewers, going 2 for 5 yesterday with two RBIs.
Pittsburgh is a -160 favorite in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at seven runs. The Pirates have a winning record of 65-32 when playing as the favorite and an overall money line of +1,728. They have an SU record of 25-34 against teams in their division and an 18-18 record when they were the favorite in those games. The Pirates come into the game with the fourth-ranked scoring offense in the NL, averaging 4.2 runs per game. The Pirates are a superb hitting team with 9.1 hits per game, one of the highest marks in the NL. Whenever an NL Central opponent shows up on the calendar, the Pirates seem to struggle with pitching. They allow an average of 3.6 runs per game, but allow 4.3 against teams from their own division.
Across the field, the Brewers have a record of 35-49 when they are the underdog and are -1,629 overall with the money line. They have played at the top of their game when rated as the underdog as of late. They managed a 6-1 record when playing as the underdog and an SU record of 7-3. During the last 10 games, they averaged 5.8 runs per game, above their 4.1 season average. Playing against NL Central foes really brings the best out of the Milwaukee pitchers. They allow 4.0 runs per game against teams within their division, which is lower than their season average of 4.5.
The Brewers have gotten the better of the Pirates in head-to-head matchups this season, going 10-6. This game will feature Nelson (RHP) on the mound against the Pirates, who have a 68-42 record when they take on a right-handed starter. The right-handed Morton will take the mound against the Brewers, who have a 42-63 record against righty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - Pit, O/U - Over
The Pirates hold a 25-35 record this season against teams in the NL Central Division. The Brewers' record in these matchups is 27-30.
The Pirates managed to give up six walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Brewers who are coming in with a 7-1 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they are outhit, the Brewers are 10-60. The Pirates have an 18-42 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 21st in home runs, Pittsburgh has hit 122 this season. Milwaukee ranks 20th with 127 home runs.
Ranking eighth, Milwaukee is in the top 10 of the league in hits, notching 8.63 per game. Pittsburgh ranks in the top five at fourth with 9.06.
Pittsburgh and Milwaukee both rank in the bottom half of the league for their on-base plus slugging percentage. Pittsburgh sits at 16th with an OPS of .722 and Milwaukee ranks 20th with an OPS of .714.
The Brewers are 35-55 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Pirates are 34-34 when they allow at least one homer.