If you had asked the average baseball fan to pick a surefire division winner before the start of the regular season, you would have probably heard the Chicago Cubs mentioned more often than not. After all, they did come into the season as the defending World Series champions, and on the back of a 100+ win season. Combine that with the fact that the NL Central does not look particularly strong and you get what amounts to a perfect storm. The Cubs are at the top of the division after the first month of the season, but things are a whole lot tighter than any of us expected. The Pittsburgh Penguins are currently situated in the cellar, but they are just 3 games off the pace being set by the Cubs. Pittsburgh will have the opportunity to crawl out of the bottom this weekend when they welcome in the Milwaukee Brewers, who have been a bit of a surprise this season, and who are currently just a game and a half out of first. Find the latest baseball betting lines here.
A Closer Look At The Milwaukee Brewers At Pittsburgh Pirates 2017 MLB Expert Picks
When: Friday, May 5 at 7:05 PM EST
Where: PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Starting Pitchers: Jimmy Nelson Vs Chad Kuhl
TV: FSWI, ROOTPIT
Radio: Brewers Radio Network, WTMJ 620, KDKA-FM 93.7
Live Stream: MLB.TV
MLB Odds: Pittsburgh Pirates / C Kuhl -r / Money Line -130
Why bet on the Milwaukee Brewers
The natural assumption with this division was that the rebuilding Brewers (14-14) would more than likely be on the bottom for the majority of the season. They have defied the odds in the early part of the season, and have done well to maintain a .500 record through their first 28 games. They have achieved this by getting some surprise performances from their players this season, most notably from Eric Thames, who has already hit 11 dingers and posted a .326 batting average. This team has flashed some surprising offensive muscle, and are in fact the top run scorers in their division. The Brewers will send Jimmy Nelson (1-2, 5.34 ERA) to the mound on Friday night.
Why bet on the Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates (12-15) have been a very good team over the last few seasons, but there are definite signs that they are about to take a step backwards this year. It certainly doesn’t help that they lost Starling Marte for 80 games after he tested positive for steroids earlier this year. That has hurt their offensive output, which is a shame when you consider that they have been getting great work from their starting pitchers, with that group already delivering 16 quality starts this season. The lack of offense and the inability of the bullpen to close things out has put the Pirates in the position they are in right now. Chad Kuhl (1-2, 6.26 ERA) will start for the Pirates on Friday.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
The Brewers have played better on the road than they have at home this season, and they will be facing a Pirates team that is barely clinging to .500 in their own park. A close one, but a win for the Brewers here, I believe.