Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates, Game 1 (107, 8.5)
Pardon the pun: we’re going to buck the trend and go with the Bucs against the red-hot Brewers.
We know the Pirates can’t win in Miller Park; that’s been proven over and over. But this game is at PNC Park, and Pittsburgh starter Jeff Karstens has been remarkably consistent.
He’s given up three runs or less in all but one start since April 17. In his only start against the Brewers this season, Karstens allowed two runs over five innings.
Milwaukee starter Chris Narveson (cut thumb) hasn’t pitched since August 6. He’s 2-4 with a 5.11 ERA on the road this season. Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen is 5-for-13 (.385) against Narveson.
Atlanta Braves at Chicago Cubs (115, NA)
Jair Jurrjens isn’t himself yet.
In his first start since coming off the DL with a strained right knee, the Braves All-Star gave up five runs on eight hits over six innings against the light-hitting Giants. He only struck out one.
His ERA has risen nearly a full run over the last six weeks. Now Jurrjens faces the Cubs, who had won seven of 10 heading into Sunday night’s game against the Cardinals.
Chicago starter Ryan Dempster has strung together three outstanding starts, allowing five earned runs over 20 innings while fanning 18.
Braves catcher Brian McCann is 0-for-10 with three strikeouts in his career against Dempster.