In the second of a three-game series between the Chicago Cubs (11-7) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (11-7) at Wrigley Field, Kyle Hendricks (0-0, 5.74 ERA) and Jeff Locke (2-0, 3.32 ERA) get the start. The Cubs won the last game 4-0 and Chicago leads the series 1-0. The game starts at 8:05 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Apr. 28 and will air on ROOT-PIT and WPWR.
In his last start, Hendricks pitched 5.1 innings, giving up three runs and striking out two in a 5-4 loss to the Pirates. Anthony Rizzo (.344, 15 Rs, 2 HRs, 9 RBIs, 5 SBs) continued his strong season yesterday, going 2 for 3 with one run and two RBIs. In his career against the Cubs, Locke is 1-1 with a 4.32 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, and 31 strikeouts. Gregory Polanco (.288, 11 Rs, 1 HR, 7 RBIs, 7 SBs) has been doing well offensively for the Pirates, going 3 for 5 yesterday with three runs and one RBI.
Chicago is a -123 favorite in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is unavailable at the moment. The Cubs are 5-5 as the favorite and have an overall money line of +227. They have performed well against their division to earn an SU record of 7-4 and a 4-3 record when they were the favorite. They have been a terror on the base paths, ranking third in all of baseball with 20 steals. Whenever an NL Central opponent shows up on the calendar, the Cubs pitch better. They allow an average of 3.9 runs per game, but allow just 3.3 against teams from their own division. The Cubs don't allow many hitters to get on base, ranking fifth in the league with a 1.13 WHIP. An area where the Cubs are particularly strong at home is striking batters out, where they average 8.4 K's per home game.
On the other side, the Pirates have a record of 3-3 when they are the underdog and are +188 overall with the money line. Over the last 10 games, they were unbeaten as the underdog with a perfect 1-0 record and 8-2 SU. When it comes to scoring runs, the Pirates have performed much better than normal against teams from the NL Central. During those games, they averaged four runs per game, above their 4.2 season average. Shifting to the pitching staff, they have the second-lowest road ERA in the NL at 2.70. The Pittsburgh pitching staff has been an intimidating group this year, averaging 8.8 strikeouts per game.
The Cubs are 3-2 against the Pirates this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - CHC
The Cubs sit at 8-4 against division rivals, while the Pirates have an even 7-7 record against their foes.
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 4-4 record when opponents give up that many walks.
When they are outhit, the Pirates are 2-7. The Cubs have a 3-6 record when opponents outhit them.
Both falling in the top half of the league based on total home runs this season, Chicago ranks 15th with 16 homers and Pittsburgh is 12th with 17.
Ranking 11th, Pittsburgh is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 7.58 per game. Chicago ranks in the top 10 at seventh with 8.35.
Ranking 26th, Pittsburgh is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.632). Chicago ranks in the top half at 12th with an OPS of .710.
When the Pirates allow at least one home run, they are 2-6. When the Cubs allow one or more homers, they have a 5-5 record.