Brewers vs. Pirates Prediction: MLB Picks & Odds

Jason Radowitz is back to break down Saturday's Brewers vs. Pirates game
Jason Radowitz
Sat, July 3, 6:15 AM EDT

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Prediction - MLB Picks

Date: July 3

Time:  4:05pm ET

Where: PNC Park

Click here to view the latest odds

Brewers vs. Pirates Probable Pitchers

  • Brewers: Eric Lauer (2-3, 4.50 ERA)
  • Pirates: Cody Ponce (0-1, 7.88 ERA)

The Brewers are catching fire recently. They’re on a 10-game winning streak and even when they were down 7-0 against the Cubs, they found a way to rally back.

This is a team that isn’t giving up and they’re playing tremendous baseball. Offensively, they’ve been coming out hot scoring five runs in the first five innings in the last two games combined. They’ve also feasted off of the Pirates relief pitching and really can’t do no wrong right now.

The Pirates will turn to Cody Ponce to put the Brew Crew in check. I’m not so sure that’ll work.

Ponce has allowed seven runs and 12 hits in 17 innings pitched this year along with six walks and 12 strikeouts. Through 66 batters, he’s given up 14 more fly balls than ground balls and has a WHIP of 2.00.

Ponce has been extremely poor against lefties, giving up an average of .462 in 13 at-bats to lefties this season. Even righties have a .375 average in 24 at-bats this season along with an OBP of .400.

Currently, batters are hitting .405 against Ponce in eight innings as he only has six strikeouts. It’s only been two games and those two were months apart, but he’s allowed seven runs in those eight innings, four in the game against the Cubs and three against the Rockies, on the road through just three innings.

The man allows plenty of hard contact this season, gets low strikeouts and walks nearly 10 batters dating back to last year’s stats.

The Brewers offense has smacked righties throughout their win streak and through June and into July. They’re hitting a .235 ISO and wOBA of .383 against righties. This includes Omar Narvaez, who could sit today or tomorrow during a day game. I would think he plays today and sits tomorrow.

On the other hand, Eric Lauer is taking the mound for the Brewers. As of late, Lauer’s been a bit lucky. He allowed no runs in six innings against the Rockies, at home, in his last start. In that game, he gave up 13 fly balls and just one ground ball and escaped allowing no runs.

In the previous four games, he’s allowed multiple runs in each, giving up a total of 16 runs in four games prior to that fluke start against the Rockies his last time out.

Lauer had two games in June where he gave up four walks and gave up two walks in every start in June but one. In the last 30 days, he’s walking 15 percent of batters and the fly balls are coming at a high rate.

The Pirates don’t have the best offense but they have performed better against lefties. Adam Fraizer, Ke’Bryan Hayes, Bryan Reynolds, Phillip Evans and Kevin Newman are all getting on base at a high rate against lefties in the last 230 days. They’ve also been able to limit strikeouts and hit for power.

It would not be surprising to see both of these starting pitchers struggle in today’s game. The Pirates offense could break out today while the Brewers offense has been red hot and will be given a perfect opportunity against Ponce to stay hot.

Let’s roll with the first five over. We’ll need five runs in the first five innings. Both of these teams are more than capable especially with wind blowing out to left-center field nearing 10 miles per hour. 

Brewers vs. Pirates PredictionOver 4.5 F5 @ -125

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