Pirates v Brewers
Pittsburgh Pirates fans will get a much appreciated win on Thursday when their club hosts the Milwaukee Brewers. The magic of Mike Fiers – Milwaukee’s starter – may finally be coming to an end. He hasn’t lasted more than five innings in any of his past three starts and has watched his ERA balloon from 2.85 to 3.23 in that stretch. He isn’t helped by the fact this game is on the road where he’s had an ERA of 3.48 compared to his 3.02 ERA at home. Pittsburgh’s Wandy Rodriguez has been nothing but clutch for the Pirates in recent weeks. The former Houston Astros starter has thrown five straight quality starts (six innings or more pitched; three earned runs or less allowed). During that run he’s tallied a 1.95 ERA. Go with Wandy (and the Pirates) for the win at 2.05 as the reasons to fear Fiers likely means a loss for the Brewers on at 1.77.
Cubs v Reds
The Cincinnati Reds will make the most of playing the lowly Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Reds starter Bronson Arroyo has looked good in general lately and has a strong history of success as a visiting pitcher in Chicago. Over his past seven starts, Arroyo is 5-1 with a 2.85 ERA and at Wrigley Field he’s 7-3 lifetime with a 3.06 ERA in 13 starts. His opposition, pitcher Jason Berken did not look good in his first start with the Cubs last week. He lasted four innings and was tagged for six runs – though only two were earned – against the Pirates. Still, he admitted he didn’t execute his pitches well. Don’t expect Berken to fair any better against a better offensive team in the Reds. Go with Cincinnati at 1.50 not the Cubs at 2.60.