Pirates vs Cubs Prediction, Pick and Preview, September 2: MLB

Pirates vs Cubs Prediction, Pick and Preview, September 2: MLB

Credit: photo by Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

 
Odds
Time 8:05 p.m. EST
Pirates money line +135
Pirates run line +1.5 (-150)
Cubs money line -145
Cubs run line -1.5 (+130)
Over / under 8.5 (-110)

 

Key stats
  Pirates Cubs
Record 48-85 59-75
Road / home record 20-47 33-32
Last 10 record 4-6 5-5
Streak L2 W2
Over / under record 61-64-8 58-68-8
Runs / game 3.57 4.22
Runs allowed / game 5.10 4.99

 

Preview

The Pirates are in Wrigley Field for the first of a four-game NL Central divisional matchup against the Cubs.  Pittsburgh was in Chicago for their last series which they lost 2-0 to the White Sox and split their prior series with the Cardinals 2-2 at home.  The Pirates are languishing at the bottom of the division and have one win in their last five averaging a dismal 2.4 runs per game in that span.  The Cubs sit in 4th in the division just ahead of Pittsburgh and are 12.5 games off of even seeing a wild card spot.  They have been able to turn their fortunes around recently, winning three of their last four and currently being two wins on the bounce.  In their last series, they kept Minnesota to a single run in two games.

Pitching matchup

Pirates

Mitch Keller (4-10, 6.75 ERA) Mitch Keller will be first to the mound for the Pirates, his 18th start of the season.  The third-year pitcher has a 6.75 ERA in 2021, some distance from his 2.91 ERA in 2020 which came off of five games but better than his 7.69 ERA from 11 games in his rookie year in 2019.  Keller is 1-1 in his two games against the Cubs this season, with a 4.50 ERA and four ERs from seven hits in eight innings pitched.  He also claimed 11 strikeouts compared to five walks. 

Cubs

Keegan Thompson (3-3, 3.09 ERA) Keegan Thompson makes his 30th appearance and 4th start for Chicago tonight.  The rookie pitcher is 3-3 with a 3.09 ERA and 16 ERs from 40 hits in 2021.  He pitched for 4.2 innings in his game against the Pirates earlier this season, recording two hits and no ERs, struck two batters out and walked three.

Prediction

Despite keeping the Twins bats at bay in their last two games, the Cubs have had trouble keeping opposing bats modest.  The Pirates are in the same predicament sitting in the bottom five of opponent runs per game this season.  The defense just isn't good enough on either of these clubs.  The over at 8.5 is achievable here.  

PICK: Over 8.5 (-110)

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