Jake Arrieta (16-5, 2.62 ERA) and the Chicago Cubs (82-47) go up against Steven Brault (0-1, 3.60 ERA) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (67-61) in the first of a three-game division series at Wrigley Field. The game gets underway at 8:05 p.m. ET on Monday, Aug. 29 and will air on CSCh and RTPT.
In his most recent outing, Arrieta pitched 8.0 innings, giving up zero runs, striking out six and walking three in a 5-3 victory over the Padres. Kris Bryant (.305, 107 Rs, 35 HRs, 89 RBIs, 8 SBs) continued his strong season yesterday, going 2 for 3. The Pirates were unsuccessful against the Brewers 3-1 the last time Brault pitched. He went 6.0 innings, allowing three runs, striking out three and walking three. Starling Marte (.307, 68 Rs, 8 HRs, 45 RBIs, 44 SBs) has been doing well, going 3 for 4 yesterday with one run, one home run, one RBI, and one stolen base.
Oddsmakers have deemed this game an even matchup and the Over/Under (O/U) is unavailable at the moment. Against teams in the NL Central, the Cubs have a SU record of 34-16. Within their division, Chicago's offense has been playing lights out, averaging 6.0 runs per game, well over their season average of 5.1. They have been very patient at the plate, leading the NL with an average of 4.0 walks per game. Turning to the pitching staff, the Cubs lead the league in WHIP at 1.116. They have been extremely effective at striking opposing batters out, averaging 8.9 strikeouts per game.
Against divisional rivals, the Pirates are 25-24 SU. When it comes to scoring, the Pirates haven't performed as well against teams from the NL Central. During those games, they averaged four runs per game, below their 4.5 runs per game season average. The last 10 games have really brought the best out of the Pittsburgh pitchers. They've allowed 3.3 runs per game during that span, which is lower than their season average of 4.4.
The Cubs had the upper hand against the Pirates in their previous 12 games this season, earning a 9-3 record. This game will feature Brault (LHP) on the mound against the Cubs, who have a 15-7 home and 27-14 overall record when they take on a left-handed starter. Taking the hill against the Pirates will be the right-hander Arrieta. They sport a 49-53 record against righties.
Predictions: SU Winner - CHC
The Cubs sit at 34-16 against their divisional rivals, while the Pirates are 25-24.
When leading after seven innings, Chicago is 44-22, while Pittsburgh is 27-32.
The Pirates are coming into this game after allowing no walks during their last outing. The Cubs have a 3-4 record when opponents don't give up any walks.
When they are outhit, the Cubs are 7-28. The Pirates have a 16-47 record when opponents outhit them.
Pittsburgh ranks near the bottom of the league at 26th when it comes to home runs, hitting 121 this season. Chicago ranks in the top half with 163.
Chicago and Pittsburgh both rank in the top 10 of the league in hits. Chicago sits at sixth with 8.79 hits per game and Pittsburgh ranks seventh with 8.78.
Ranking 19th, Pittsburgh is in the bottom half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.732). Chicago ranks in the top five at third with an OPS of .779.
The Pirates are 36-48 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Cubs are 42-38 when they allow at least one homer.