The Chicago Cubs (25-43) and Pittsburgh Pirates (28-39) meet Wednesday in a 7:05 p.m. ET contest at PNC Park. Let’s analyze Tipico Sportsbook‘s lines around the Cubs vs. Pirates odds with MLB picks and predictions.
Season series: Pirates lead 7-4
The Cubs lost the first 2 games of this series – by a combined score of 19-2 – and are just 2-13 over their last 15 games. Over that stretch, Chicago hurlers have compiled an untenable 7.11 ERA.
Before this series, the Pirates had gone just 2-11 in their previous 13 games and scored just 2.77 runs per game over that stretch. But over the last 2 nights, the Bucs have piled up 10 walks and 9 extra-base hits, while going 9-for-21 with runners in scoring position.
Cubs at Pirates projected starters
RHP Keegan Thompson vs. RHP Jerad Eickhoff
Thompson (6-2, 3.27 ERA) has appeared in 15 games (7 starts) and owns a 1.18 WHIP, 3.3 BB/9 and 7.9 K/9 through 55 IP.
- Last pitched Friday, tossing 6 scoreless frames with 2 hits, 2 walks and 9 strikeouts in a no-decision 1-0 Cubs victory over the visiting Atlanta Braves.
- Career vs. Pirates: 2-0, 1.76 ERA (15 1/3 IP, 3 ER) in 5 games (2 starts), including 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 2 appearances (1 start) this season.
Eickhoff is expected to be called up from Triple-A Indianapolis for this start. The 31-year-old owns a 4.35 ERA, 1.30 WHIP over an 85-game career (80 starts) previously spent with the Phillies and Mets.
- Over 48 1/3 IP with Indianapolis this season, has logged a 4.84 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP.
Cubs at Pirates odds and lines
- Money line: Cubs -130 (bet $100 to win $130) | Pirates +105 (bet $105 to win $100)
- Run line (RL): Cubs -1.5 (+125) | Pirates +1.5 (-155)
- Over/Under (O/U): 9.5 (O: +100 | U: -125)
Cubs at Pirates picks and predictions
Cubs 6, Pirates 5
Chicago has been hurt by a 7-14 record in 1-run games. Its bullpen has been tagged by the highest batting average on balls in play (.316) and highest rate of fly balls landing as home runs (16.1%) in the league.
However, I like the Cubs here BACK CHICAGO (-130).
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Chicago minus the run-and-a-half makes sense if you can get a price of +130 or better. Otherwise PASS.
Both clubs have batting numbers deflated by low averages on balls in play in key situations. On a warm, humid evening with an outward breeze in the forecast BACK THE OVER 9.5 (+100).
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