The Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers opened a three-game series at American Family Field in Milwaukee on Friday night, so here’s the best betting pick for the middle contest of this National League Central showdown set for Saturday, June 12, with the first pitch at 4:10 PM ET.
The Brewers and Bucs have already played a three-game series in Wisconsin earlier in the season, and Pittsburgh won it 2-1, upsetting the odds as +130 and +183 underdogs. This time, the Pirates are massive +241 underdogs for Saturday’s game, while the Brewers are listed as -270 moneyline favorites with a total of 7.5 runs on BetMGM Sportsbook.
Pittsburgh hopes for another upset in Milwaukee
The Pittsburgh Pirates entered this series on a four-game losing streak, and I will exclude Friday’s opener from this analysis. The Bucs were 23-38 and sitting bottom of the NL Central, six and a half games behind the fourth-placed Reds and 11.5 games behind the Brewers and Cubs who were tied for the top spot on Friday.
Pittsburgh owns the lowest-scoring offense in the majors, averaging only 3.49 runs per contest. The Pirates are slashing .226/.298/.347, and they’ve hit just 42 home runs so far this season which are the fewest among the big leagues.
The Bucs are yielding 4.82 runs per game (22nd in the MLB) while posting a 4.68 ERA (24th). Chad Kuhl will take the mound Saturday, and the 28-year-old righty is 0-3 in six starts this season. He sports a poor 5.61 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, and 21/17 K/BB ratio across 25.2 frames of work.
Interestingly, Kuhl’s undefeated in eight career starts and one relief appearance against Milwaukee, going 4-0 with a sparkly 2.12 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. The righty met the Brewers on April 18, 2021, and tossed five innings in a no-decision, allowing three earned runs on five hits and a walk while striking out six.
Milwaukee looks to stay hot at the plate
The Milwaukee Brewers have been terrific as of late, winning 14 of their last 18 games overall. They’ve smacked a whopping 23 home runs over their last 12 outings and won ten games in that stretch despite a .227 batting average.
The Brewers are scoring just 3.97 runs per game (22nd in the majors) on a .213/.300/.373 slash line. They are yielding only 3.95 runs in a return (9th), and the Brewers’ pitching staff is sporting the ninth-lowest ERA in baseball (3.63).
Corbin Burnes will get the starting nod Saturday, and he’s 3-4 in ten starts this term. The 26-year-old righty boasts a 1.97 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, and 94/7 K/BB ratio across 59.1 innings, and he’s 3-0 with a 2.67 ERA in a couple of career starts and 12 relief appearances against the Pirates. Burnes will get the Bucks for the first time this year.
- 2-10 in the last 12 games on the road
- 5-13 in the last 20 games overall
- 3-6 ATS in the last nine games overall
- 14-4 in the last 18 games overall
- 6-1 ATS in the last seven games overall
Although Chad Kuhl has a nice record against Milwaukee, the current Brewers are batting .275 against him while recording a .988 OPS. Therefore, I’m backing the Brewers to win this game by two or more runs, as Corbin Burnes will own the Pirates’ offense if he continues to pitch at a high level.
Last time out, Burnes has tossed seven scoreless innings in a 2-0 win to Arizona, allowing just four hits while punching out 13. I just hope the Brewers’ offense will provide some run support, as Burnes has been one of the most dominant starting pitchers in baseball so far this season.
Pick: Take Milwaukee Brewers -1.5 at -130
As I’ve mentioned, Corbin Burnes should dominate the Pirates’ toothless offense, so betting on the under seems like a logical choice despite a 7.5-run line. The Brewers bullpen sports a 4.27 ERA (17th in the majors), but Burnes will go deep on a good day.
On the other side, the Pirates’ relievers own a 3.68 ERA (11th), but Pittsburgh has allowed five or more runs in six of its last nine games overall. It’s a tough wager, considering a low line, so I would stick with the hosts to cover.
Pick: Go under 7.5 runs at -105