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MLB Odds, Picks & Predictions (Wednesday, July 29): Milwaukee Brewers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

MLB Odds, Picks & Predictions (Wednesday, July 29): Milwaukee Brewers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates article feature image

Justin Berl/Getty Images. Pictured: Joe Musgrove

  • The Brewers (-155) and Pirates (+130) finish the last game of their series on Wednesday night.
  • Find out if our analyst sees any value on either team's moneyline odds tonight.

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Odds

Brewers Odds -137 [Bet Now]
Pirates Odds +118 [Bet Now]
Over/Under 8.5 (-103/-120) [Bet Now]
First Pitch Wednesday, 7:05 p.m. ET

This series has been pretty exciting as the Brewers pulled off a crazy comeback in Game 1 but lost Game 2, 8-6, in a slugfest. The Cubs now own a two-game lead over both of these teams in the National League Central and though that may not sound like much, the shortened season means it will get late very early.

If you want to know more about BaseRuns and how I use it to build my projections, check out this deep dive on my model.

Advanced Stats Glossary

FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP  is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.

wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.

wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.

Milwaukee Brewers

Projected Lineup (via Fantasy Labs)

The Brewers lineup has been stagnant through the first six games of the season. Much was expected of Milwaukee’s offense but it has only managed a .269 wOBA and 71 wRC+ so far.

Christian Yelich is the key piece of Craig Counsell’s lineup and he’s been slumping out of the gate with only one hit so far. Needless to say, if the Brewers want to keep pace with the Cubs in the Central, Yelich will need to get going.

Brewers Projected Starter

Brandon Woodruff, RHP

Projected Stats (ZIPS) (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Woodruff had a decent first start against the Cubs. The 27-year-old allowed two runs on four hits and struck out five in five innings of work. Unfortunately, he was out-dueled by Kyle Hendricks who threw a complete-game shutout.

Woodruff has a lethal fastball that can top out at 100 MPH and his sinker ranks up there with some of the best in the MLB. On top of that he’s got a nasty put-away slider that generated a 29.3% whiff rate in 2019.

The Pirates struggled against fastballs last season ranking 21st in MLB. In fact, through their first six games they’ve been the worst team in the league against fastballs.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Projected Lineup (via Fantasy Labs)

The Pirates offense, for lack of a better word, stinks. Before last night’s eight-run outburst, they’ve been the worst offense in MLB through the first six games in terms of wOBA and wRC+.

Outside of Josh Bell, Pittsburgh has no firepower in its lineup. Trading away Starling Marte this offseason was a huge blow and the Pirates didn’t make any moves to replace him.

Pirates Projected Starter

Joe Musgrove, RHP

Projected Stats (ZIPS) (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Joe Musgrove struggled in his first start of the season allowing three earned on five hits in 5.2 innings against the Cardinals. He was tagged for two home runs, which is unlike him as he had one of the lowest HR/9 rates in MLB in 2019.

Musgrove is a slightly above-average starter. He predominantly uses his fastball and slider, then has a handful of secondary pitches that he doesn’t use very often. His fastball isn’t great and features below-average velocity, so it isn’t surprising that he allowed a .371 wOBA and generated only a 15% whiff rate with that pitch in 2019.

Musgrove excels with his slider — and it’s filthy. Not only did he allow a .204 wOBA when throwing it in 2019, he generated a 39.3% whiff rate.

He’ll have to be more effective than he was in his first start if he wants to navigate a loaded Brewers lineup.

Brewers and Pirates Bullpens

Both bullpens have been called on a lot so far this series, so each one will be coming into this game gassed. The Brewers have the clear advantage, though.

Projections and Pick

The line moved away from the Brewers on Wednesday afternoon, giving them betting value when compared to my projections. I wouldn’t bet Milwaukee past -143.

Pick: Brewers -137

[Bet Brewers -114 with a 20% profit boost at Parx in PA]

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