Archer looks to finish season strong in Pirates uniform
The Pirates are scheduled to turn to newly-acquired right-hander Chris Archer, who has continued his up-and-down season on the mound since coming over to Pittsburgh. The 29-year-old right-hander is fresh off of his second straight quality start last time out against the Miami Marlins, limiting them to just three earned runs on five hits in six innings of work, but was left with a no-decision for his efforts in a 5-3 Pirates’ victory. Archer is 1-2 with a 5.24 ERA since joining the Pirates at the non-waiver trade deadline, but he’s allowed three earned runs or less in five of his seven starts with his new team. He owns a 4-7 overall record and a 4.56 ERA in 24 starts this year, but has pitched just 130 ⅓ innings this year, which would be his lowest total since his rookie season in 2013.
In his only start against the Brewers this season, Archer surrendered six earned runs on seven hits in just four innings of work. Surprisingly, Archer has only made one other start against Milwaukee over the past three seasons, tossing six innings of one-run ball against them in 2017. According to Baseball Savant, the current Brewers’ roster is batting a healthy .300 in 130 plate appearances against Archer heading into Friday’s matchup.
Gonzalez looks to build off of impressive Brewers’ debut
The Brewers are scheduled to send lefty Gio Gonzalez to the hill at Miller Park on Friday night after the former Nationals ace waited a week before his debut in Milwaukee. The freshly acquired left-hander limited the Giants to just one unearned run on three hits in 5 ⅔ innings of work in his first start with his new team. Gonzalez struggled in his last five starts with the Nats, allowing five earned runs or more on four of those occasions, while sporting a 1-4 record during that span. He comes in with an 8-11 overall record and a 4.40 ERA this season, but has posted a 2-5 record and a 5.80 ERA in nine starts since the All-Star break.
In his only start versus the Pirates this season, the Brewers’ left-hander surrendered just two earned runs on six hits in six innings of work, but took a tough luck loss for his efforts. Gonzalez owns a 3.79 ERA in 10 career starts against the Pirates. According to Baseball Savant, the current Bucs roster is batting .277 in 90 plate appearances against the Brewers lefty coming into this game.
- Brewers are 2-6 in their last eight meetings
- Pirates are 4-1 in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Pirates are 6-2 in their last 8 overall.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Archer has showed flashes of returning to form this season, but hasn’t managed to put it all together for extended stretches. He has struck out 38 batters in 34 ⅓ innings of work since joining the Pirates, but he’s also been erratic at times. Meanwhile, Gonzalez has erased a fast start to the season that saw him post a 2.10 ERA through his first 11 starts. Take the Bucs on the road as they attempt to play spoiler in this late season NL clash.
Prediction: Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates +125
Full-Game Total Pick
Gonzalez tossed a quality start versus the Pirates earlier this season and posted a 2-1 record and a 4.22 ERA in his previous four starts against the Pirates dating back to 2015. Archer was lit up in his previous start against the Brewers earlier this season and Gonzalez has been struggling on the mound for the better part of the last three months, so you have to like your chances with the over in this spot.
Prediction: Over 8.5
Full-Game Prop Bet
Starling Marte has been struggling during the month of September, hitting just .190 so far this month. However, he’s been hitting .256 with six home runs since the All-Star break and he has had a fair bit of success against Gonzalez coming into this game. He is batting .300 with two home runs off of the Brewers’ left heading into this matchup, so roll the dice and take him to hit the first home run of this game on the road at Miller Park on Friday night.
Prediction: Starling Marte to hit the first home run
First Five Innings Side Pick
Neither of these starters as been very consistent as of late, but Archer gets my vote here. The Pirates’ right-hander has surrendered three earned runs or less in 13 of his last 15 starts dating back to the middle of May. Gonzalez hasn’t won back-to-back starts in over three months. Take the Pirates on the five-inning line in the opening game of this series in Milwaukee on Friday.
Prediction: Pittsburgh Pirates
First Five Innings Total Bet
These two teams have gone over the projected total in each of their past four meetings and three of their past four at Miller Park. The total is set fairly conservative at 8.5 here, but neither of these pitchers has been pitching as well as their name warrants. Archer and Gonzalez were once regarded as two of the best pitchers in baseball, but both have been very hittable this season. Take this game to go over the projected five-inning total in Milwaukee on Friday night.
First Five Innings Prop Prediction
Gonzalez somehow sports a 0.96 ERA in the first inning this year, but a 6.33 mark in the second and a 4.33 ERA in the third frame. Meanwhile, Archer owns a 1.50 ERA in the opening frame, but a 7.88 ERA in the second and a 7.12 ERA in the third inning. Look for this game to stay under 1.5 first inning runs at Miller Park on Friday night.
Prediction: Under 1.5 First Inning Runs