JT Brubaker (0-0, 4.80 ERA) vs. Brett Anderson (2-2, 3.52 ERA)
The Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers will play the second of three games on Saturday at Miller Park. The Brewers were in good form on Friday night with a 9-1 win. Derek Holland was rattled for 6 hits and 8 earned runs in 5 innings.
He got out of the first two innings with just 1 earned run allowed, and the Pirates hoped he would settle in from there. However, Holland couldn’t muster much up past that. The Brewers struck for 3 runs in the 3rd, 2 in the 4th, and an additional 2 runs in the 5th inning.
The Pirates knew that Holland was on the ropes, but I think they were thinking about Saturday and keeping fresher arms in the bullpen. It doesn’t really matter at this point, though. The Pirates are a 9-20 team following the loss last night.
They are on a road to nowhere in the NL Central. The Pirates are eight games behind the Chicago Cubs for the lead in the division. The next closest team is the Brewers and Reds who are each 14-17. Pittsburgh is the only team in the major leagues without having reached double-digit wins yet.
The first overall pick could be in the Pirates’ future. This is a weird, unusual season anyway, so the Pirates might as well tank and aim for the first selection in the draft. Many people will put an asterisk next to the 2020 season. Getting the best prospect in the draft isn’t a bad consolation prize for playing poorly during this throwaway season.
Changes aren’t going to happen overnight for the Pirates, though. It’s likely going to be a lengthy rebuilding process. The team right now is thin on talent, and attracting free agents to Pittsburgh isn’t going to be easy.
Building from the ground up will be required in Pittsburgh. The Pirates are expected to send out JT Brubaker to the bump on Saturday to start in Milwaukee. Former Athletic, Brett Anderson, is scheduled to counter for the Brewers. Head below for our free Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Milwaukee Brewers pick for August 29, 2020.
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Milwaukee Brewers MLB Betting Odds:
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Milwaukee Brewers Prediction:
Rookie JT Brubaker went the longest of his career last week against the Milwaukee Brewers. It wasn’t great, but it was something for Brubaker. He allowed 4 hits and 2 earned runs through 4 innings at home. His most impressive appearance season was out of the bullpen at Wrigley Field on August 1. Starting and working as a reliever is a different animal, though.
Since moving to the starting rotation after two outings from the bullpen, Brubaker has struggled to get into a groove. He has an ERA of 7.20 and 1.70 WHIP through three starts in 2020. That will have to get better for Brubaker. This will be his first start on the road this season. He was fine enough in his first meeting versus the Brewers, but the second round might be different in Milwaukee.
Even if Brubaker does have a similar performance, depending on run support to help him out could be difficult. The Pirates are 29th in the major leagues 3.86 runs scored per game. The offense hasn’t been present for this offensive depleted roster. It’s been six games since the Bucs have scored 5 runs in a ballgame.
Brett Anderson has been in good form for the Brewers this season. The former Athletic enters today with an ERA of 3.52 and 1.26 WHIP through 23 innings in five starts. Anderson has yielded 2 or fewer earned runs in all of his performances in 2020. The Pirates’ shouldn’t scare him off at home on Saturday evening. It should be closer than a 9-1 final, but expect another win for the home squad in this series.