Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs Betting Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Baseball

The Pittsburgh Pirates will be facing off against their divisional rival Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. WGN is in line to broadcast the matchup and the opening pitch will be at 8:05 p.m. ET.

Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs Odds

The Pirates are 8-2 SU and have gone 6-3 against the spread (ATS). They’ve accumulated 4.7 units for gamblers taking the moneyline this year and 4.3 units ATS. Pittsburgh has covered the spread five times in its last seven games and the total has gone over in five of those seven. The Cubs are 5-5 SU and 5-4 ATS. They’ve lost 1.8 units for bettors taking the moneyline while gaining 0.9 units ATS. Chicago has covered the spread four times in its last seven games and the total has gone under in five of those seven.

Chicago games have a 3-6 over/under record so far in 2018. Pittsburgh has an over/under record of 6-3.

The Pirates have gained 1.0 units and are 1-0 ATS when facing a left-handed starting pitcher this season. The over has cashed in one of those games, compared to zero that’ve gone under in such games. On the other hand, the Cubs have lost 3.0 units and are 1-2 ATS when facing a left-handed starting pitcher. The over’s hit in zero of those games, compared to three which went under the total.

Left-hander Steven Brault (2-0, 1.13 ERA) will get the start for the visiting Pirates. Brault started four games last year while finishing the season 1-0 overall with a 4.67 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP.

The Cubbies are putting the ball in the hands of lefty Jon Lester (1-0, 2.89 ERA), who recorded 180 strikeouts in 180 innings last year (32 starts), while finishing the season 13-8 overall with a 4.33 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. He recorded four starts against Pittsburgh a year ago and compiled a 1-2 record with a 4.66 ERA and 13 strikeouts.

As a unit, Chicago’s pitching staff has yielded 3.4 runs per game overall in 2018. Its starters have a 4.36 ERA, 1.42 WHIP and 7.7 strikeouts per nine innings. The bullpen has a solid ERA of just 1.49, a WHIP of 0.99 and a K/9 of 9.4. In six games against NL Central foes, Cubs starters have an ERA of 2.91 and the bullpen’s ERA is 2.45.

The Chicago offense is putting up 4.4 runs per contest, including 5.0 per game over its last five. The team’s hit .254/.340/.424 over its last five games and is 3-2 SU during that stretch.

The Cubs’ hitters have been led by third baseman Kris Bryant and catcher Willson Contreras. Bryant is slashing .317/.451/.585 with 13 hits, six RBIs and six runs scored, and Contreras has put up a line of .333/.409/.487 with 13 hits, one RBI and four runs.

For the visitors, Pittsburgh’s pitching staff allowed 4.4 runs per game and its starters own a 3.22 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 7.52 K/9. The bullpen has an ERA of 5.86, along with a WHIP of 1.16.

Pirates hitters have slashed .286/.360/.462 on their way to 6.6 runs scored per game this year, including over the team’s last five outings (4-1 SU).

Outfielders Gregory Polanco and Corey Dickerson have led Pittsburgh’s offense. Polanco is hitting .265/.395/.647 with nine hits, 13 RBIs and eight runs scored, while Dickerson (.342/.359/.605) is up to 13 hits, nine RBIs and eight runs scored.

Polanco seemed to take a step back when hitting left-handed pitchers on the road last year. Over 38 such plate appearances, he maintained a slash line of .194/.237/.250 (compared to his total season line of .251/.305/.391).

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs Free Pick

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

Betting Notes

  • The Cubs went 10-9 SU against the Pirates last season.
  • The Pirates have won four of their last five games SU.
  • The Cubs’ bullpen managed 4.15 ERA against the Pirates last year.