A.J. Burnett (6-1, 2.20 ERA) takes the hill for the Pittsburgh Pirates (31-25) as they square off against Jimmy Nelson (2-6, 4.41 ERA) and the Milwaukee Brewers (20-37) in the first of a three-game series at PNC Park. Action begins at 7:05 p.m. ET on Monday, Jun. 8 and can be seen on FSN-WI and ROOT-PIT.
Burnett is 2-6 with a 4.65 ERA in his appearances against the Brewers, but goes up against a below-average Milwaukee offense which is batting just .233 this season. Starling Marte (.256, 31 Rs, 11 HRs, 39 RBIs, 10 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday with two RBIs. Nelson is 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA when pitching against the Pirates. He takes on a quality Pittsburgh offense which is hitting .255 this season. Ryan Braun (.263, 31 Rs, 13 HRs, 39 RBIs, 6 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday.
Pittsburgh is a -159 favorite against Milwaukee and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at seven runs. The Pirates have recorded an overall money line of +139 and have shown high-level performance as a favorite this season with a record of 24-13. Pittsburgh is unbeaten as the favorite and has a 7-3 SU record in its last ten outings. Opposing offenses have been stifled by the Pirates, who have a team ERA of only 3.10. The Pirates are the fourth-best team in the NL at limiting walks during home games, allowing only 2.3 walks per game to their opponents this season. Opponents have consistently been struck out by the Pirates, who rank fifth in the NL in strikeouts per game with 8.3.
In games where it is the underdog, Milwaukee has a 15-22 record and an overall money line of -1,524. They have played poorly as the underdog with a 7-13 record against fellow NL Central members, and a 4-6 record SU.
The Pirates have controlled the season series, 5-1. The Pirates have a 27-21 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Nelson takes the mound. Burnett (RHP) will be on the hill against the Brewers, who have a 15-29 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - PIT, O/U - Over
The Brewers currently sit below .500 against the NL Central Division at 10-18, and the Pirates have a 12-16 record.
Milwaukee has won 36% (8-14) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Pittsburgh has won 43% (10-13) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Pirates managed to give up four walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Brewers who are coming in with a 6-6 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they are outhit, the Brewers are 6-29. The Pirates have a 4-16 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 19th in home runs, Pittsburgh has hit 48 this season. Milwaukee ranks 12th with 55 home runs.
Ranking 14th, Milwaukee is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 7.88 per game. Pittsburgh ranks in the top 10 at sixth with 8.80.
Ranking 28th, Milwaukee is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.666). Pittsburgh ranks in the bottom half at 17th with an OPS of .700.
When the Brewers allow at least one home run, they are 12-25, well-matched with the Pirates who are 9-17 when allowing at least one homer.