Gerrit Cole (3-0, 2.19 ERA) gets the start for the Pittsburgh Pirates (11-10) as they go up against Jon Lester (0-2, 6.23 ERA) and the Chicago Cubs (12-7) in the last of a three-game series at Wrigley Field. The Cubs won the last game 6-2 and Chicago leads the series 2-0. The game starts at 8:05 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Apr. 29 and will air on ROOT-PIT and CSN-CHI.
In his last start, Lester pitched 6.0 innings, allowing three runs, striking out 10 and walking one in a 7-3 loss to the Reds. Kris Bryant (.341, 6 Rs, 10 RBIs, 2 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one RBI. In his pitching opportunities against the Cubs, Cole is 5-0 with a 3.48 ERA, 37 strikeouts and seven walks. Starling Marte (.243, 12 Rs, 6 HRs, 15 RBIs, 2 SBs) has been doing well offensively for the Pirates, going 2 for 4 yesterday with one run, one home run, and two RBIs.
Chicago, a +107 underdog, will look to capitalize at home against Pittsburgh. The Cubs perform well as an underdog with a 5-2 record and have an overall money line of +327. Over the last 10 games, they have had a very good record when playing as the underdog (3-1). The Cubs are a nightmare for opponents on the bases with an MLB-high 25 steals. Chicago's pitching staff performs very well on its own field, recording a low 3.00 team ERA at home. The Cubs don't allow many hitters to get on base, ranking fourth in the league with a 1.10 WHIP. An area where the Cubs are particularly strong at home is striking batters out, where they average 8.3 K's per home game.
Moving on to the opposing team, the Pirates come into this game with a solid win percentage of .615 when playing as the favorite (8-5) and an overall money line of +88. Over the past 10 matchups, they are 7-3 SU and have played well as the favorite with a 6-2 record. They have the second-lowest road ERA in the NL at 2.86. They also have some of the most overpowering arms in the NL with an average of 8.7 strikeouts per game.
The Cubs have mostly come out on top against the Pirates in their previous six games this season, earning a 4-2 record. This game will feature Cole (RHP) on the mound against the Cubs, who have a 10-5 record when they take on a right-handed starter. The right-handed Lester will take the mound against the Pirates, who have an 11-8 record against righty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - CHC
The Cubs hold a 9-4 record in matchups against NL Central rivals, while the Pirates currently sit at 7-8 in these games.
Pittsburgh has won 33% (2-4) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Chicago has won 62% (5-3) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Cubs are coming into this game after allowing zero walks during their last outing. The Pirates have a 4-5 record when opponents give up that many walks.
It looks like the Cubs have a slight leg up on the Pirates, as the Cubs have won their last four games while the Pirates have lost their last two.
When they outhit their opponents, the Cubs are 7-1. The Pirates have an 8-1 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 17th, Pittsburgh sits in the bottom half of the league in runs, scoring 81 this season. Chicago ranks in the top half at 13th with 88.
Ranking 30th, Pittsburgh is at the bottom of the league in walks, notching 36 this season. Chicago ranks in the top 10 at seventh with 70.
When the Cubs hit at least one home run, they are 8-1. When the Pirates hit at least one homer, they have an 8-5 record.