Brewers to Grab Run-Line Win in Series Opener vs. Pirates

Willie Bee

Friday, May 4, 2018 12:55 PM UTC

Friday, May. 4, 2018 12:55 PM UTC

The Pirates were just swept in DC while the Brewers are off a sweep in Cincinnati, and we have a free MLB pick for their series opener Friday night in Milwaukee.

Pittsburgh (17-15 SU, 16-12-4 O/U) at Milwaukee (19-13 SU, 12-20 O/U)Free MLB Pick: Brewers -1½Best Line Offered: Heritage

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We will be a quarter of the way through the 2018 MLB season less than two weeks from now, and we still have close races for every division title. None of those races is as close or as deep as what’s going on in the NL Central, where the gap between the Milwaukee Brewers in first and the Pittsburgh Pirates in fourth is but two games as they prepare for a weekend series.

Friday night’s opener in Milwaukee gets underway at 8:10 (ET) when Junior Guerra (2-1, 0.82) takes to the hill against Pittsburgh rookie Nick Kingham (1-0, 0.00) who is making just his second big-league appearance. Intertops is carrying the Brewers on a -120 money line with an 8-run total juiced evenly high and low.

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Truth. #ThisIsMyCrew

— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) May 3, 2018

What Will Kingham Do For An Encore?

The Pirates arrive in Beer City after being spanked 4 straight by the Nationals. Their last win came with Kingham on the mound, and it was as solid a major-league debut as there’s ever been with seven 1-hit innings against the Cardinals last Sunday, whiffing nine. A high school teammate of Bryce Harper’s in Las Vegas, Pittsburgh made Kingham a 4th-round pick eight years ago and he was a fast climber through the Pittsburgh system before an elbow injury a few years ago set his climb back. With a fastball just reaching into the 90s, it’s his slider and change-up that fooled Redbird bats.

The Brewers are back home after a winning road trip that was a accomplished by sweeping two in Kansas City, losing all four at the Cubs and brooming three in Cincinnati. Guerra pitched well enough to win one of those games in Chicago, allowing just a run on three hits while his lineup was being shut out, one of three white-washings the Cubs put on the Brewers. The Venezuelan has yet to allow a run at home in two tries and will be facing a Pirates lineup he has fared well against except for Starling Marte (5-for-11, .455).

Series Trends, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

Milwaukee is on top of this rivalry overall and has been especially dominant at Miller Park. The Brewers won 6 of 9 here last year, raising their record to 95-50 at home since the stadium opened in 2001. The ‘under’ has also dominated the MLB odds on this field, 14 of the last 19 falling short of the totals along with one push. This season at Miller Park, totals are 5-9 O/U.

Rain that’s in the Milwaukee area this morning should clear out and leave a nice day in its wake. Mostly clear skies and temps in the low 70s with a light westerly breeze are forecast for game time, and I’m forecasting a Brewers run line victory for my free baseball pick.

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