In the first of a three-game series between the Chicago Cubs (10-7) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (10-7) at Wrigley Field, Jason Hammel (1-1, 5.19 ERA) and Vance Worley (2-1, 4.00 ERA) get the start. The Pirates enter this series looking to continue a five-game winning streak. The game starts at 8:05 p.m. ET on Monday, Apr. 27 and will air on ROOT-PIT and CSN-CHI.
Hammel has a 4.03 ERA and a 4-4 record in his career against the Pirates, and is up against a struggling Pittsburgh offense that's hitting just .232 on the year. Starlin Castro (.329, 7 Rs, 2 HRs, 11 RBIs, 1 SB) went 1 for 4 yesterday. In his career against the Cubs, Worley is 3-0 with a 1.97 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and 27 strikeouts. Starling Marte (.242, 11 Rs, 5 HRs, 13 RBIs, 2 SBs) has been hitting the ball well for the Pirates, going 2 for 5 yesterday with one run.
Chicago is a -120 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. The Cubs are a nightmare for opponents on the bases with 19 steals, one of the highest totals in baseball. 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 are second in the NL in walks allowed with just 2.1 per game. The have been extremely effective at striking opposing batters out at Wrigley Field, averaging 8.4 strikeouts per home game.
On the other side, the Pirates have a record of 3-3 when they are the underdog and are +88 overall with the money line. Over the last 10 games, they were unbeaten as the underdog with a perfect 1-0 record and 7-3 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 3.9 season average. Switching gears to Pittsburgh's pitching staff, they have the second-lowest road ERA in the NL at 3.04. They also have some of the most overpowering arms in the NL with an average of 8.8 strikeouts per game.
The Cubs will take on a right-hander (Worley) in this game. They have excelled against right-handed starting pitchers this season, going 9-5.
Predictions: SU Winner - CHC
The Cubs sit at 7-4 against their divisional rivals, while the Pirates are 7-6.
For the fourth time this season, the Pirates registered at least two errors in a game.
When the Cubs play into extra innings, they have a 4-0 record. The Pirates are 0-1 when their games exceed nine innings.
The Pirates are coming off of a hot pitching game where they recorded nine strikeouts. The Cubs have a record of 5-4 when they are struck out that many times or more.
When they outhit their opponents, the Cubs are 5-1. The Pirates have an 8-1 record when outhitting opponents.
Chicago and Pittsburgh both rank in the top half of the league in runs. Chicago sits at 14th with 78 runs this season and Pittsburgh ranks 13th with 79.
Ranking 30th, Pittsburgh is at the bottom of the league in walks, notching 36 this season. Chicago ranks in the top 10 at eighth with 62.
When the Cubs hit at least one home run, they are 8-1. When the Pirates hit at least one homer, they have an 8-4 record.