Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs Betting Preview

Victor TrejosBaseball, MLB

The Chicago Cubs will head east to face their NL Central nemesis Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. NBC Sports Chicago will televise the matchup and the game will get going at 7:05 p.m. ET.

Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Odds

Pittsburgh (+105) is the home-team underdog to Chicago (-115) and oddsmakers have put the Over/Under for this night game at 8.5 runs. Odds for wagering on the game’s total stand at -105 for the over and -115 for the under. Runline odds stand at +130 for taking the Cubs -1.5 runs and -150 for the Pirates +1.5.

The Pirates are 61-60 straight up (SU) and 57-63 against the spread (ATS). They’ve gained 1.4 units for bettors taking the moneyline while gaining 9.3 units (ATS). Pittsburgh has covered the spread four times in its last seven games and the under has hit in four of those seven. The Cubs have gone 69-50 SU this year and are 59-59 ATS. Overall, the team’s lost 0.8 units for moneyline bettors and 0.4 units ATS. Chicago is 3-4 ATS over its last seven games and the under has hit in five of those seven.

Pirates games have an over/under record of 57-55-8 in 2018. Chicago has been a decent under bet with a total record of 53-62-3.

Left-hander Jon Lester is projected to start for the visiting Cubs. Lester (12-5, 3.89 ERA) has recorded 105 punchouts in 134.1 innings so far. He’s 2-1 with 17 strikeouts and a 4.70 ERA against Pittsburgh this year (four starts).

The Pirates will put the ball in the right hand of Ivan Nova (7-6, 4.42 ERA, 1.31 WHIP), who’s got 88 strikeouts and 27 walks this season. Nova is 2-0 with 14 strikeouts and a 2.84 ERA across two starts against Chicago this year.

As a unit, Pittsburgh’s pitchers have yielded 4.5 runs per game overall in 2018. The team’s starters have an ERA of 4.22, a WHIP of 1.31 and a strikeouts-per-nine of 7.2. The bullpen has a 4.24 ERA, 1.42 WHIP and 9.6 K/9. In 47 games against divisional opponents, Pirates starters have an ERA of 3.43 and the bullpen’s ERA is 3.79.

Pittsburgh’s hitters are putting up 4.5 runs per contest, including 4.9 per game against divisional foes and 4.6 per game over their last five. The team’s hit .261/.316/.392 over its last five matchups and is 1-4 SU during that span.

Outfielders Corey Dickerson and Starling Marte have led the Pirates’ batters this year. Dickerson is slashing .303/.334/.484 with 11 home runs, 46 RBIs and 52 runs scored, while Marte’s line is .276/.320/.469 with 17 homers, 57 RBIs, 63 runs and 28 stolen bases.

In the other dugout, Chicago’s pitching staff allowed 4.2 runs per game and its starters own a 4.21 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and 7.67 K/9. The bullpen has managed an ERA of 3.32, along with a K/9 of 8.88.

Cubs hitters have slashed .264/.345/.420 on their way to 4.9 runs scored per game in 2018, including 4.5 runs per game against divisional foes and 3.8 per game over the team’s last five outings (3-2 SU).

Chicago’s hitters have been led by second baseman Javier Baez and first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who have combined to blast 43 home runs. Baez is hitting .293/.325/.574 with 25 home runs, 89 RBIs, 74 runs and 19 stolen bases, while Rizzo (.265/.363/.444) has produced 18 homers, 78 RBIs and 49 runs scored.

The Cubs have lost 5.8 units and are 44-47 ATS when facing a righty starter this season. The over has cashed in 41 of those games, compared to 47 that’ve gone under in such games. On the other hand, the Pirates have lost 5.8 units and are 14-21 ATS when facing a left-handed starting pitcher. The over has hit in 22 of those games, as opposed to 12 that’ve cashed the under.

Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Pick

Predictions: SU Winner – Pirates, ATS Winner – Pirates, O/U – OVER

Betting Trends

  • Chicago has recorded 11 extra-base hits over its last five games. Pittsburgh has 14 XBH over its last five.
  • The Pirates have lost four of their last five games SU.
  • Pittsburgh has recorded 22.2 Runs + Hits + Errors per game over its last 10 games and 23.0 over its last five.
  • The Cubs have hit eight home runs in their last 10 games. The Pirates have hit 11 over their last 10.