Pittsburgh Pirates (31-30) vs Chicago Cubs (34-24)Date : 06/09/2018
Time : 2:20 pm EST
Location : Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Pittsburgh Pirates vs Chicago Cubs
Game 2 of a 3-game set between the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates and the Chicago Cubs will take place on Saturday afternoon at 2:20 pm EST at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs have been on a tear lately in winning 8 of their last 10 games and occupy the 2nd place slot within the NL Central division. On the other hand, the Pirates continue to skid lately in losing 8 of their last 11 games while occupying 4th place within the division. This will be the 3rd meeting of the year amongst these two squads as they have each split the last 6 meetings with the Pirates winning 2 of 3 at Wrigley Field on 4-12-2018 with game 1 being postponed due to weather conditions.
Pittsburgh Pirates's Latest Performance :
The Pittsburgh Pirates have lost 3 of their last 5 games to where the O/U was 1-4. Recently, the Pirates would drop a 3-game home series loss to the resurgent Chicago Cubs on 5-30-2018. Furthermore, Pittsburgh would lose once again to the Cardinals in a 4-game home set on 6-3-2018 while also falling in game 1 of a 3-game home set versus the Los Angeles Dodgers by a 5-0 score on 6-5-2018. They would, however, redeem themselves in game 2 by picking up the 11-9 win.
For the season, the Pittsburgh Pirates average 4.62 runs per game (8th) with a team batting average of .254 (9th), 64 homers (21st) along with 23 stolen bases (24th). Their pitching staff has an ERA of 4.23 (17th) with 496 strikeouts (20th) along with 27 quality starts on the year (13th).
Corey Dickerson (.324 BA on 216 AB), Francisco Cervelli (.278 BA on 144 AB), Starling Marte (.294 BA on 197 AB), and Colin Moran (.275 BA on 167 AB) have been the most consistent hitters in the lineup for the Pirates this year. Jordy Mercer (.254 BA on 185 AB) and Josh Bell (.237 BA on 219 AB) have also been solid for Pittsburgh this year at the plate.
Trevor Williams (5-3, 71 IP, 33 R, 64 H, 8 HR, 24 BB, 49 SO, 4.18 ERA) and Ivan Nova (2-5, 61.2 IP, 39 R, 73 H, 10 HR, 10 BB, 42 SO, 4.96 ERA) have been shining stars on the mound for the Pirates this year.
Chicago Cubs's Latest Performance :
The Cubs come into this game winners of 4 of their last 5 games to where the O/U was 3-2. Recently, the Cubs would win a 3-game road series versus the Pittsburgh Pirates on 5-30-2018 while also sweeping the reeling New York Mets in their following 4-game series on 6-3-2018. They would go on to tie their current 3-game home set versus the Philadelphia Phillies by winning game 2 on 6-6-2018 by a score of 7-5
For the season, the Cubs are averaging 5.19 runs per game (3rd) with a team batting average of .264 (2nd), 65 homers (19th) along with 27 stolen bases (18th). Their pitching staff has an ERA of 3.25 (3rd) with 516 strikeouts (16th) with 25 quality starts on the season, good for 16th in the MLB.
Kris Bryant (.293 BA on 208 AB), Kyle Schwarber (.260 BA on 169 AB), and Javier Baez (.261 BA on 218 AB) have spearheaded the Cubs offensive attack this year. Wilson Contreras has also been critical to the scoring attack with a batting average of .277 on 195 at bats.
Jon Lester (6-2) has been solid this year pitching 70 innings while allowing 23 runs on 56 hits, 8 homer, 25 walks, and 61 strikeouts with an ERA of 2.44 while Kyle Hendricks (4-5) has pitched 72.2 innings while allowing 31 runs on 63 hits, 12 homers, 17 walks, and 57 strikeouts with an ERA of 3.59 for the season. Jose Quintana (6-4) has pitched 64.1 innings while allowing 33 runs on 57 hits, 8 homers, 31 walks, and 67 strikeouts with an ERA of 4.20.
How Pittsburgh Pirates & Chicago Cubs Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
For the season, the Pirates are 28-33 ATS while the O/U is 29-26-6. On the other hand, the Cubs are 30-27 ATS while the O/U is 24-31-2.
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
This will be an interesting division matchup amongst two teams that are trending in different directions. Chicago continues to win while the Pirates are 2-8 in their last 10 games, yet, looking to get back into the swing of things against one of their division foes. Getting their mojo back will certainly be difficult in that Jon Lester (6-2) will come to the mound for the Cubs and he will seeking his 5th win in 6 starts. Lester has allowed 7 earned runs in his last 5 starts as well, yet, has had his problems against many of the batters for the Pirates. Josh Bell (.429 BA on 7 AB), Francisco Cervelli (.250 BA on 24 AB), David Freese (.294 BA on 17 AB), Josh Harrison (.280 BA on 25 AB), Starling Marte (.227 BA on 22 AB), Jordy Mercer (.333 BA on 21 AB), and Sean Rodriguez (.281 BA on 32 AB) have had tons of experience and success against Lester in the past. On the other hand, Gregory Polanco (.125 BA on 8 AB) and Corey Dickerson (0-3) has had much less success against Lester in their careers.
Against The Spread Selection: Chicago Cubs
My reason for the pick :
It would be important to note that despite Lester’s troubles against the Pirate lineup, he currently holds a 2-0 record against the Pirates with a no-decision in his last 3 starts against them. Besides this, the Cubs are clearly the better team at this point in the season. In all, the Pirates are 2-7 in their last 9 road games, and a visit to Wrigley Field to face a dangerous and confident Cubs team will either cause them to lose even more confidence, or, afford them the opportunity to gain some much-needed momentum moving forward. My assumption is the former. Take the Cubs to win this matchup.
Betting trends for Pittsburgh Pirates:
- Betting Trends for Pittsburgh Pirates
- The Pirates are 2-5 in last 7 road games
- The Pirates are 3-7 in last 10 games
- The Under is 5-2 in Pirates last 7 games
Betting trends for Chicago Cubs:
- Betting Trends for Chicago Cubs
- The Cubs are 6-1 in last 7 games
- The Cubs are 13-7 in last 20 home games
- The Under is 8-6 in last 14 home games