The Pittsburgh Pirates will host the Milwaukee Brewers at beautiful PNC Park. The two teams will kick off a long five game series on Thursday night, and will wrap up on Sunday afternoon. This is the last weekend of baseball, until after the 2018 MLB All-Star Game.
Both teams got off to a very hot start in 2018, but the Pirates have not been able to keep pace with the Brewers. Milwaukee continues to lead the National League Central Division, and currently have the best record in the NL. The Pirates find themselves in fourth place in the NL Central, and need a big weekend against the Brewers to get back into the race. The Pittsburgh Pirates are -128 over the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday.
Miley Set to Return For Brewers
The Milwaukee Brewers signed veteran Wade Miley to a minor league contract this offseason, but they haven’t got to see him perform much in 2018. Miley is expected to be activated off of the designated list before Thursday’s game, after spending the last two months on the 60 day DL. The former Baltimore Orioles pitcher has started just two games for Milwaukee this season. A healthy Miley could give the Brewers an even bigger edge in the National League.
Jesus Aguilar is a big reason for the Brewers great first half of the season. The Brewers slugging first baseman leads the National League with 23 home runs. Aguilar was rewarded for his great first half, as he was voted in by the fans to represent the Brewers in the All-Star Game.
Taillon Starts for Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates continue to wait for Jameson Taillon to reach his true potential, but it hasn’t happened in 2018. The young right hander has been up and down so far this season, and brings a 5-7 record into Thursday’s start. If the Pirates are going to make a run at the playoffs in the second half of the season, they need Taillon to pitch like an ace.
Corey Dickerson and Gregory Polanco have led the Pirates offense through the first half of the season. Dickerson has rediscovered himself after a rough 2017, and is hitting .309 to lead the team. Dickerson could find himself getting traded before the July 31st trade deadline. Polanco leads the Pirates with 13 home runs and 47 runs batted in.
Pittsburgh Cools off Brewers
The Brewers are trying to get some separation between them and the rest of the National League Central with a strong finish before the break. Milwaukee has a dominant bullpen that has been their biggest strength in 2018. If the Brewers can get a solid outing from Miley, they should be in great shape to win the game.
The Pirates are playing better baseball of late, and need a successful weekend against the team leading their division. Pittsburgh has some dangerous bats in their lineup, and they can score runs at home. Look for Jameson Taillon to navigate through the Brewers lineup and lead the Pirates to victory. Bet the Pittsburgh Pirates -128 over the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday.