Runs may be hard to come by in this one as Jake Arrieta (4-3, 3.00 ERA) and the Chicago Cubs (21-15) meet A.J. Burnett (2-1, 1.60 ERA) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (17-20) in the last of a three-game series at Wrigley Field. The Cubs won the last game 4-1, extending a six-game winning streak. The game starts at 2:20 p.m. ET on Sunday, May. 17 and will air on ROOT-PIT and WGN.
Arrieta is 4-0 with a 2.70 ERA, 25 strikeouts and six walks against the Pirates in his career. Anthony Rizzo (.349, 26 Rs, 8 HRs, 23 RBIs, 8 SBs) continued his strong season yesterday, going 2 for 3 with one RBI. In his career against the Cubs, Burnett is 7-4 with a 3.13 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, and 75 strikeouts. Starling Marte (.298, 20 Rs, 8 HRs, 25 RBIs, 6 SBs) has been hitting the ball well for the Pirates, going 3 for 4 yesterday with one stolen base.
Chicago, a -122 favorite, will look to capitalize at home against Pittsburgh. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is unavailable at the moment. The Cubs perform well as a favorite with a 12-8 record and have an overall money line of +310. They are 5-1 as the favorite over their last 10 games. The Cubs are a nightmare for opponents on the bases with 36 steals, one of the highest totals in baseball. Turning to the pitching staff, the Cubs are fourth in the NL in walks allowed with just 2.6 per game. An area where the Cubs are particularly strong is striking batters out, where they average 8.6 K's per game.
On the other side, the Pirates have a subpar record of 3-8 when they are the underdog and are -486 overall with the money line. Over the past 10 matchups, they are 5-5 SU and have a poor 0-1 record when they were an underdog to win. They have the lowest road ERA in the NL at 2.89. The Pittsburgh pitching staff has been an intimidating group on the road this year, averaging 8.2 strikeouts per game.
The Cubs have gotten the best of the Pirates in head-to-head matchups this season, going 6-3. This game will feature Burnett (RHP) on the mound against the Cubs, who have a 16-12 record when they take on a right-handed starter. The right-handed Arrieta will take the mound against the Pirates, who have a 16-16 record against righty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - CHC
The Cubs hold a 14-12 record this season against teams in the NL Central Division. The Pirates' record in these matchups is 11-16.
When leading after 7 innings, Chicago is 9-8, while Pittsburgh is 5-8.
The Cubs are coming into this game after allowing one walk during their last outing. The Pirates have a 4-11 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
The Cubs are coming into the game with six consecutive wins, while the Pirates currently have a losing streak of four.
When they outhit their opponents, the Pirates are 11-4. The Cubs have an 11-2 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 21st in runs, Pittsburgh has earned 143 this season. Chicago ranks 11th with 160 runs.
Ranking 23rd, Pittsburgh is near the bottom of the league in walks, notching 90 this season. Chicago ranks in the top five at second with 133.
When the Cubs hit at least one home run, they are 15-5. When the Pirates hit at least one homer, they have a 12-9 record.