Pittsburgh Pirates (+108) at Milwaukee Brewers (-118, 8 o/u)
Both the Pittsburgh Pirates (0-3, 0-3 road) and Milwaukee Brewers (0-3, 0-3 home) had a terrible start to 2015, getting swept in their respective three-game season openers. One of the teams will finally open its account in the win column tonight when Pittsburgh’s Jeff Locke (7-6, 3.91 ERA in 2014) faces Milwaukee’s Mike Fiers (6-5, 2.13 ERA in 2014) at Miller Park in Milwaukee (8:10 PM Eastern).
The Pirates were swept by the Cincinnati Reds in the first three games of the season. The Bucs were competitive in every game, losing twice by just one and giving up the winning run in the eighth inning or later in each game.
In a 3-2 setback in the series finale, the team’s fate was sealed by a ninth-inning error from right fielder Gregory Polanco.
Despite the three-game losing streak, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle isn’t overly concerned, given how his team has played in the losses.
“It’s been exciting,” said Hurdle. “We’ve just got to find a way to connect the dots a little better on offense with more consistency. Overreaction is not the proper reaction in sports, or in life.”
The Brewers also started the season 0-3 against the surprising Colorado Rockies. Milwaukee was crushed 10-0 in the opener and followed that up with 5-2 and 5-4 losses. The Brewers forced game three to extra innings with two runs in the bottom of the ninth. But Francisco Rodriguez gave up a solo shot to Wilin Rosario in the tenth that proved to be the winning run.
“In that situation you cannot walk people, especially with the top of the order coming up and the way they hit the ball,” Rodriguez said after taking the loss. “You have to try to find a way to get him out instead of putting him on base. He got a good pitch to hit, and he got hot.”
In the trends, the last four games between the Pirates and Brewers have stayed under the game total, while the Pirates have won Locke’s last two starts against the Brewers. But with Fiers showing a lot of promise last season, the home Brewers (-118) look like the better option.
(Photo credit: Steve Paluch on Flickr [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)