First pitch: 1:35 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Corbin Burnes (0-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. JT Brubaker (0-0, 4.91 ERA)
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Predictios
There’s no doubt bullpen games can be pretty tricky no matter the bet but when there’s a potentially dominant starter on the other end of the equation, things become at least a little bit more clearer.
Today’s series finale in Pittsburgh may fall under that scenario. Corbin Burnes isn’t exactly a household name but he has flashed the potential of one. After putting in a lot of work during the extended offseason — both mental and physical — he’s been a far more consistent pitcher.
Obviously, the biggest downfall for Burnes a year ago was the frightening amount of homers he allowed, seeing 17 long balls from the mound sail beyond the fence in only 49 innings. This season, though, he’s yielded just one home run in his 21 innings.
At the same time, he’s still pumping up his usual high strikeout totals. In fact, had he registered enough innings to qualify, Burnes would rank tied for fifth in the majors with 12.43 K/9. He’s trending up.
Perhaps most appealing to me is the Pirates batting order drawn up for this one. All-Star Josh Bell is absent from the lineup, and most glaring, Pittsburgh’s 1-2-3 hitters consist of Erik Gonzalez, Adam Frazier and Kevin Newman — Newman has never bat third before.
Of course, we also have to worry about a crew of Pirates relief pitchers following JT Brubaker, who has gone three frames in each of his previous two “starts,” serving as sort of an opener. He actually hasn’t been bad and with the over/under as high as it is, I don’t mind trusting him for essentially one turn through the lineup.
After the rookie, it’s really not a bad group to lean on in the bullpen. Chris Stratton, for instance, may be asked to go multiple innings, and he was a serviceable starter in the recent past. He’s been decent so far, too, even logging a career-best 11.77 K/9 mark. Of note, the Pirates have a day off tomorrow, so it’s almost like an all-hands-on-deck scenario that could get solid arms like Keone Kela, Richard Rodriguez and Nik Turley in the ballgame.
Add in the fact that the Brewers carry the second-lowest team batting average (.214) in the National League while plating just four runs per game, and it seems like the Pirates relief core can supply enough to help power a lower scoring outcome.
MLB Leans - August 23
CHW/CHC Under 10
2020 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 8-19-3, -13.45 units
Yesterday’s Result: Diamondbacks-Giants Under 9 (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit