Pirates could be just what doctor ordered to spark Brewers’ offense

After a series in which the Milwaukee Brewers hard a hard time scoring against the Cincinnati Reds, facing the Pittsburgh Pirates for a three-game weekend series might just be the medicine for an ailing offense.

Milwaukee and Pittsburgh have faced off 10 times already this season, with the Brewers winning eight of those games – thanks in large part to how to how they’ve mashed Pirates pitching.

In those 10 matchups, the Brewers are averaging 5.8 runs per game – scoring 10+ runs in three contests. Pittsburgh’s 5.87 ERA against Milwaukee is its worst against any National League team this season.

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As a team, the Brewers own a slash line of .281/.371/.537 vs. the Pirates in 2019. Leading the way is Eric Thames, who is batting .462/.548/1.231 with five home runs, and All-Star Mike Moustakas, at .342/.390/.816 with five homers.

Of course, Christian Yelich is also hitting well vs. Pittsburgh, with eight extra-base hits and a slash line of .324/.458/.703.

Yelich’s slugging percentage now sits at .712 on the season, which leads the major leagues just over the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger (.711). The next closest player to that pair is Pittsburgh’s Josh Bell (.654). Yelich has the most extra-base hits since June 1, 22 (tied with Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman). Bell is tied for third with 19.

Other notes:

— The Brewers have the highest home run percentage in the major leagues, with 4.3% of their plate appearances resulting in a round-tripper. Milwaukee’s 147 homers lead the NL, three ahead of Los Angeles.

— Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is 13th in the NL in home runs with 93, although the Pirates lead in singles (516) and are second in batting average (.268) and doubles (180).

— Since June 1, the Brewers have the fourth-best bullpen ERA in the NL at 3.69. The average ERA for NL relievers in that span is 4.54.

— Speaking of relievers, Josh Hader had a 52.3% strikeout percentage and 43.6% miss percentage on pitches in the strike zone. He is far and away the major-league leader in both categories.  San Diego’s Kirby Yates is next in strikeout percentage at 41.5% while the Mets’ Edwin Diaz is second in miss percentage at 30.9%.

Statistics courtesy Sportradar, baseball-reference and Inside Edge