Pittsburgh Pirates (31-31) vs Chicago Cubs (35-24)Date : 06/10/2018
Time : 2:20 pm EST
Location : Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Pittsburgh Pirates vs Chicago Cubs
The finale of a 3-game set between the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates and the Chicago Cubs will take place on Sunday at 2:20 pm EST at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs have continued their recent tear and currently occupy the 2nd place slot within the NL Central division. On the other hand, the Pirates occupy 4th place within the division due to an ongoing, current losing skid which entails them losing 14 of their last 19 games. 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 4 of their last 5 games to where the O/U was 2-3. 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, a series which they would go on to lose thanks to an 8-7 game 3 victory by the Dodgers.
For the season, the Pittsburgh Pirates average 4.66 runs per game (8th) with a team batting average of .254 (9th), 66 homers (19th) along with 24 stolen bases (23rd). Their pitching staff has an ERA of 4.29 (21st) with 506 strikeouts (20th) along with 27 quality starts on the year (15th).
Corey Dickerson (.323 BA on 220 AB), Francisco Cervelli (.275 BA on 153 AB), Starling Marte (.289 BA on 201 AB), and Colin Moran (.274 BA on 168 AB) have been the most consistent hitters in the lineup for the Pirates this year. Jordy Mercer (.254 BA on 189 AB) and Josh Bell (.237 BA on 224 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 2-3. 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 win a 3-game home set versus the Philadelphia Phillies by winning game on 6-7-2018 by a 4-3 score.
For the season, the Cubs are averaging 5.17 runs per game (3rd) with a team batting average of .264 (2nd), 66 homers (18th) along with 27 stolen bases (18th). Their pitching staff has an ERA of 3.23 (3rd) with 528 strikeouts (15th) with 25 quality starts on the season, good for 16th in the MLB.
Kris Bryant (.292 BA on 212 AB), Kyle Schwarber (.256 BA on 172 AB), and Javier Baez (.258 BA on 221 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 28-34 ATS while the O/U is 30-26-6. On the other hand, the Cubs are 31-28 ATS while the O/U is 25-32-2.
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
Once again, we have a matchup amongst two teams that are currently experiencing two different seasons. The Cubs continue to win in solid fashion while the Pirates continue to give up runs night in and night out to their opponents. Despite their last win over the Dodgers on 6-6-2018, the Pirates remain 2-7 in their last 9 home games. While I do not see the Pirates making much noise in this series against a potent Cubs squad, I do expect a competitive game on Sunday, particularly from those on the mound. Joe Musgrove (2-1) will come to the mound for Pittsburgh looking to win his 3rd game in 4 starts. Since becoming a starter, Musgrove has been credited with 4 earned runs on 18 hits along with 5 walks, 2 homers, and 17 strikeouts. On the other hand, the Cubs will send out Kyle Hendricks (4-5) with his goal being to halt a 2-game losing skid at the mound. In his last outing, Hendricks pitched 5 innings while allowing 5 runs on 5 hits, 2 walks, 1 homer, and 5 strikeouts in a 6-1 home loss to the Phillies on 6-5-2018.
Musgrove has been dominant against this Cubs lineup as Javier Baez, Jason Heyward, Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russel, and Ben Zobrist are all a combined 0-12 against the right-hander. Kris Bryant, on the other hand, is 1-2 against Musgrove in recent meetings. The Pirates have had much success against Hendricks in the past as Corey Dickerson (.375 BA on 8 AB), Josh Harrison (.389 BA on 18 AB), Jordy Mercer (.263 BA on 19 AB), Gregory Polanco (.409 BA on 22 BA), and Sean Rodriguez (.500 BA on 6 AB) have all shined against him at the plate. Francisco Cervelli (.077 BA on 13 AB), Adam Frazier (0-3) and Starling Marte (.167 BA on 18 AB) have not fared as well against Hendricks in their respective careers.
Against The Spread Selection: Pittsburgh Pirates
My reason for the pick :
On the strength of Musgrove’s pitching lately, along with the apparent domination of Kyle Hendricks by this Pirates lineup, is the reason as to why I will be backing the Pirates to come out on top in the finale. While the Pirates have had trouble scoring at times this year, they have shown (at times this year) that they indeed possess the hitters needed in which to alter the course of a game with just a single swing. With that being said, I expect Musgrove to keep the Cubs lineup occupied during this matchup on Sunday while Hendricks will continue to give up runs to this Pirate lineup, thus allowing them to get the victory.
Betting trends for Pittsburgh Pirates:
- Betting Trends for Pittsburgh Pirates
- The Under is 5-2 in Pirates last 7 road games
- The Under is 4-1 in Pirates last 5 games
Betting trends for Chicago Cubs:
- Betting Trends for Chicago Cubs
- The Cubs are 3-6 in last 9 home games
- The Under is 16-8 in last 24 home games