Led by rookie sensation Seiya Suzuki, the Chicago Cubs have been one of the pleasant surprises of the early going. They host the NL Central Pittsburgh Pirates for the first time this season on Thursday to open a weekend series. Let’s take a look at the analysis for your MLB Odds.
How to Bet Pirates at Cubs MLB Odds & TV Info
- When: Thursday, 7:40 PM ET
- Where: Wrigley Field
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Bryse Wilson/Mark Leiter Jr.
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Stream/gameday audio: https://www.mlb.com/live-stream-games/
- Opening MLB Lines: Cubs -140, Pirates +130 (total TBA)
Why Bet on Pittsburgh?
The Pirates at least played Wednesday afternoon in Milwaukee before making the short trip to Chicago and the Bucs were swept in a 4-2 defeat – they scored a total of five runs in the three-game series. Brandon Woodruff pitched hitless ball into the sixth inning on Wednesday. Woodruff gave up just one hit, a one-out single by former teammate Daniel Vogelbach in the sixth.
Ke’Bryan Hayes went 1-for-4 and drove in a pair of runs in the loss. Hayes finally got the Pirates on the board with his two-out, two-run single off of Devin Williams in the eighth inning. It was his lone hit in four at-bats on the afternoon. He’s off to a nice start offensively, slashing .326/.356/.419 with no homers, four RBI and two stolen bases through his first 12 games.
One bright spot this season has been reliever Roansy Contreras, who came into the season rated as the 80th-best prospect in the game according to Baseball America. He ranks first among National League rookies in WHIP (0.91), third in batting average against (.148) and second in ERA (3.52).
Since the beginning of the 2019 campaign, outfielder Bryan Reynolds ranks first among all switch hitters in Major League Baseball in batting average (.288) and on-base percentage (.365), fourth in slugging (.487), sixth in total bases (621) and seventh in RBI (180). This season Pittsburgh’s leadoff hitters rank second in the National League in batting average (.298), fourth in slugging (.468) and fifth in on-base percentage (.313).
It’s Bryse Wilson (0-0, 5.40) on the mound. Wilson went 4 1/3 innings and allowed two runs while not factoring into the decision last Saturday against the Nationals. Wilson gave up four hits, and he walked three against two strikeouts. The right-hander gave up a loud homer to Juan Soto, and also an RBI double to Alcides Escobar.
The early signs are not really encouraging for Wilson as he has given up multiple runs while failing to throw at least five innings in each of his first two appearances. He owns a 4:4 K:BB over his first 8.1 frames of work in 2022.
Wilson is 1-1 with a 7.30 ERA (12.1ip/10er) in three career starts vs. the Cubs, all as a member of the Braves. He allowed three runs (2er) in 5.0 innings while winning a 13-4 decision against Kyle Hendricks last year on 4/18 at Wrigley Field and was charged with his loss on 4/29/21 (3.0ip/4r) on 4/29/21 at Truist Park.
Why Bet on Chicago?
Cubs All-Star catcher Willson Contreras didn’t start Wednesday but it was just a maintenance day off and he should be back in there Thursday. Contreras has reached safely in seven of his nine games. He has made eight starts behind the plate and one as DH.
The Cubs have the early NL Rookie of the Year candidate in outfielder Seiya Suzuki. On Wednesday, he saw his nine-game hitting streak come to an end. The stretch tied Akinori Iwamura (2007 Rays) for the longest hitting streak to begin a career for a Japanese-born player and was tied for the longest by a Cub to begin a career (last Andy Pafko – 1943).
Suzuki collected 10 RBI in his first 22 career plate appearances, the fewest plate appearances needed for any Cub to collect his first 10 career RBI. Jorge Soler was the previous Cubs recordholder, amassing 10 RBI within his first 26 career plate appearances during the 2014 season. Suzuki ranks first in the N.L. with a .414 average, .581 on-base percentage, .897 slugging mark and a 1.478 OPS. He is tied for fourth with 11 RBI.
Since he was promoted to Chicago last May 25, Patrick Wisdom has belted 30 homers. The 30 home runs in that span rank tied for third in the N.L. with Philadelphia’s Bryce Harper and trail only the Mets Pete Alonso (34) and the Reds Joey Votto (31).
The Cubs rank among all major league teams in on-base percentage (2nd), batting average (3rd), OPS (3rd, .786), doubles (T-3rd) and slugging (T-4th).
It’s Mark Leiter Jr. on the mound Thursday. He had his contract purchased from Triple-A Iowa on April 16 and made his 2022 Cubs debut the same night in Colorado and was rocked for seven runs in 3.1 innings.
Leiter will make his fifth career appearance (second start) vs. the Pirates on Thursday. He 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA (3 ER/9.0 IP) lifetime. Leiter tossed 5.1 innings in his lone start against the Pirates on July 4, 2017, suffering the loss (2 ER). He has held Pirates hitters to a .194 average (6-for-31).
- Pirates are 1-5 in their last 6 Thursday games.
- Pirates are 53-117 in their last 170 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Pirates are 20-51 in their last 71 vs. National League Central.
- Cubs are 8-2 in their last 10 games as a favorite.
- Cubs are 4-1 in their last 5 Thursday games.
- Pirates are 2-10 in the last 12 meetings.
Expert Prediction: Cubs 5, Pirates 3
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