Cubs vs Pirates

Cubs vs Pirates – MLB Odds & Picks

Written by on August 31, 2020

One Chicago team, the White Sox, already has no-hit the terrible Pittsburgh Pirates this season. Could the Cubs’ Jon Lester follow suit on Tuesday in a series opener between the first- and last-place teams in the NL Central? Obviously very unlikely, but the Cubs will be favored on the MLB odds.

How to Bet Cubs at Pirates MLB Odds & TV Info

  • When: Tuesday, 7:05 PM ET
  • Where: PNC Park
  • Probable pitchers (away/home): Jon Lester/Chad Kuhl
  • TV: MLB Extra Innings
  • Stream/gameday audio:
  • Opening MLB Lines: TBA
Why Bet on Chicago Cubs?

The Pittsburgh series begins a stretch of 14 games in 13 days between September 1-13. The team has 14 road games and 13 road games remaining.

The Cubs enter this series off splitting four games over the weekend in Cincinnati. They were 10-1 winners on Sunday and made history as Kyle Schwarber, Jason Heyward and Ian Happ became the first starting outfield to hit multiple homers in the same game.

Schwarber hit the first and the last of the Cubs’ season-high six homers, belting a solo drive in the fourth against Luis Castillo and a grand slam off Jose De Leon in the ninth. Heyward connected for solo drives in the fourth and sixth, and Happ hit a two-run shot in the fifth and a solo homer in the seventh.

Schwarber is now hitting .228/.333/.500 with nine long balls and 19 RBI on the season. Happ has been a force atop the Cubs’ lineup this season, slashing .294/.417/.624 with nine homers and 20 RBI. Heyward is slashing .286/.396/.560 with five homers and 16 RBI.

However, the Cubs got some potentially bad news Sunday when starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood left in the third inning due to an elbow injury. Chatwood spiked a breaking ball in the dirt in the third inning and immediately called for the Cubs’ trainer before exiting the field.

The Cubs did make a trade over the weekend, acquiring acquired outfielder/infielder José Martínez from the Tampa Bay Rays for a player to be named or cash consideration as well as a player to be named or cash consideration. Martinez hammers left-handed pitching and should start at DH when the Cubs face one.

It’s lefty Jon Lester (2-1) on the mound for Chicago. Lester pitched five innings of one-run ball Wednesday against the Tigers. Lester gave up eight hits, but since those only accounted for nine total bases, he was able to dance out of trouble for the most part. Lester allowed runners to reach base in all five innings he pitched, and multiple runners reached base in three frames. However, he got timely outs to work out of jams and ultimately turned in a solid outing.

Lester has given up one or no runs in four of his six starts this year but the other two outings have been bad enough to leave him with a 4.55 ERA. On Aug. 2, he allowed one run and four hits over six innings of a no-decision vs. the Pirates. Lester allowed a solo homer to Kevin Newman in the first inning, but was untouched — at least in terms of runs — over the next five frames.

Why Bet on Pittsburgh?

The Pirates are probably the worst team in baseball and will be sellers ahead of Monday’s trade deadline. Second baseman Adam Frazier has been drawing some interest. Frazier is batting just .202/.242/.325 with four homers through 29 games this season, but he’s been roughly league average as a hitter for his career and also boasts experience in the outfield. The team could get back third baseman Colin Moran as early as Tuesday off the concussion injured list. He had a .857 OPS and six homers in 23 games.

Pittsburgh is a solid 6-5 during the second 20-game segment of this 60-game shortened season; they went 4-16 during the first third of the campaign. Since the start of last season, Josh Bell leads all Major League switch hitters with 41 home runs. His 82 career home runs with the Bucs rank third among switch hitters in team history behind Bobby Bonilla (114) and Neil Walker (93). Bell’s 37 home runs in 2019 eclipsed Bonilla’s club record (32 in 1990) for most hit in one season by a switch hitter.

The Pirates have used 28 different pitchers this season; only the Marlins (34) have used more. The club record for most pitchers used in a season is 34 (set in 2019 during a 162-game season).

It’s Chad Kuhl on the mound here. Kuhl (1-1) pitched six frames of one-run ball Thursday versus the Cardinals in the Pirates’ 4-3 win in the first game of a doubleheader. It was an unusual line for Kuhl, who walked four batters while striking out just one. He entered the game having fanned one batter per inning. The walks didn’t wind up hurting him, though, as the lone run charged to Kuhl’s ledger came on a leadoff homer hit by Yadier Molina in the fifth.  Kuhl’s velocity in his first year back from Tommy John surgery has been down only slightly. He finished August with a 2.95 ERA over five appearances.

Kuhl pitched at the Cubs on Aug. 2. He was charged with one earned run on two hits and one walk over 1 1/3 innings of relief. It’s possible Kuhl is traded Monday so if that’s the case obviously the Bucs would need a replacement starter.

Expert PredictionCubs 6, Pirates 2

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