79 games into the season have the Pirates flirting with .500 after winning two series in a row and seven of their last ten games. Division rival Milwaukee will host Pittsburgh this weekend, having won only three of their last ten games.
The Brewers swept the Pirates earlier this month but have yet to win a series since then, having narrowly avoided being swept themselves against the Seattle Mariners. After falling out of first place this past week, Milwaukee is a game behind the Chicago Cubs in the National League Central and are currently sitting in one of the two open Wild Card positions.
Pittsburgh has climbed out of the NL Central cellar and can attempt to narrow their five-game NL Central deficit with a series win over the Brew Crew this weekend. Can the offense keep piling on the runs?
Friday, 8:10 p.m — Chris Archer (3-6, 5.56 ERA) vs. Jhoulys Chacin (3-8, 5.88 ERA)
TV: AT&T SportsNet-PIT
Saturday, 8:15 p.m. — Jordan Lyles (5-3, 3.64 ERA) vs. Brandon Woodruff (9-2, 4.01 ERA)
Sunday, 2:10 p.m. — Steven Brault (3-1, 4.50 ERA) vs. Zach Davies (7-2, 3.34 ERA)
TV: AT&T SportsNet-PIT
All games EST
-Ryan Braun has been the offensive standout for Milwaukee lately, hitting .333 with a 149 wRC+ through his last 32 plate appearances. Braun has struck out in 15.6% of his at-bats during that stretch.
-Mike Moustakas has been getting on base at a .406 clip in his last nine games. His wOBA (.399) is second on the team only to Braun (.404) while also hitting two home runs with four RBIs over the last 10 days.
-Travis Shaw has had a pretty couple of weeks, hitting just .091 with an .07 BABIP. His last eight games have produced a 14 wRC+ and a -0.2 WAR
-Chacin, the weakest starter in the rotation, starts the series off on Friday night, carrying a 5.88 ERA (5.87 FIP) with a 7.6% K-BB rate. He hasn’t had a good start since his outing against the Cubs in Chicago back on May 12th (6 IP, 1 ER). He’s allowed at least three earned runs in four of his last five starts and has given up 14 total during his last three. During the latter stretch, he never got out of the fifth inning (2.2 IP, 7 ER vs Pit on May 31st).
-Things get a little tougher on Saturday when Woodruff takes the hill. He’s been a decent starter with a 4.07 ERA, which can be somewhat overlooked due to his 3.07 FIP. Woodruff had a rough start to 2019, then had a series of strong outings in May which haven’t carried over into June. He’s allowed at least three earned runs every start this month and in two straight outings against the Pirates (June 1 and 7), he allowed nine earned runs in ten innings pitched.
-Davies closes out the series Sunday afternoon and is coming off two ugly starts where he gave up nine earned runs on 15 hits in 6.2 innings pitched. He had good back to back performances against the Pirates earlier in the month (13 IP, 5 ER, 3-1 K/BB). Davies has allowed at least one home run in six of his last eight starts.