The Cubs (79-72, 42-34 home) host the Pirates (70-81, 32-41 away) in game two of this NL Central series. Getting the start for the Cubs is Justin Steele while the Pirates are turning to Mitch Keller. Read on to get my best bet for this Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates matchup.
PITTSBURGH PIRATES VS CHICAGO CUBS BETTING PICK
The Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates +1.5 Runs
This game will be played at Wrigley Field at 7:40 ET on Wednesday, September 20th.
WHY BET THE PITTSBURGH PIRATES:
- The Pirates will be taking on a Cubs club that is just 3-7 vs. the runline in their past ten games.
- As the road favorite, the Pirates’ runline win streak currently stands at two games.
- The Pirates have gone 1-2 in Justin Steele’s last three starts.
PITTSBURGH PIRATES SEEK TO IMPROVE THEIR ROAD RECORD
Heading into this divisional matchup vs. the Cubs, the Pirates have an overall record of 70-81. This mark includes going 21-26 against divisional foes. Currently, they are 4th in the NL Central. Pittsburgh’s overall series record sits at 17-25-5.
Mitch Keller has been a reliable starter for the Pirates this season, boasting an overall record of 12-9 through 30 appearances. His ERA stands at 4.04, while his K/9 rate is 9.76 and his FIP is 3.69. Keller has also limited opposing batters to a .300 on-base percentage.
Mitch Keller’s most recent outing was a success, as he earned a quality start and a win for his team. The Pirates defeated the Nationals 2-0, with Keller surrendering no runs and two hits in eight innings of work.
Over their last five games, the Pirates are ranked 16th in the league in scoring at 2.8 runs per game. Their season-long scoring average of 4.2 per contest puts them 25th in baseball. In terms of on-base percentage, Pittsburgh is 17th, with an OBP currently sitting at .312. The team’s collective batting average is .236 (19th).
Over the Pirates’ last ten games, Bryan Reynolds has been a major contributor to the offense, leading the team with two home runs. His season-long total of 22 homers has been key to Pittsburgh’s success this year, and his overall batting average of .271 is indicative of his impressive performance.
WILL THE CHICAGO CUBS TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS AT HOME?
The Cubs will be playing their 151st game of the season today and are 2nd in the NL Central on a record of 79-72. So far, Chicago has won 55.3% of their games at home compared to 49.3% on the road. Against divisional opponents, the Cubs are 29-18 and have played a total of 47 series, going 24-17-6.
Today marks Justin Steele’s 29th outing of the 2023 season, and he boasts an impressive 16-4 record. His ERA is 2.73, with an OBP allowed of .281. He has struck out 164 batters and holds a WHIP of 1.14. While his ERA is 3.59 on the road, it drops to 2.43 when he’s pitching at home.
Justin Steele was handed the loss in his most recent start, as the Cubs fell to the Diamondbacks 6-4. Despite going six innings, Steele gave up six runs and seven hits.
The Cubs have been one of the top power lineups in the league of late, having hit 7 home runs over their last five games. Compared to other clubs, this is 4th best in that span. For the season, they are ranked 10th in home runs and 11th in slugging percentage. Overall, Chicago is averaging 5.1 runs per game (7th).
Over the Cubs’ last five games, Seiya Suzuki has been on fire, leading the team with two home runs. He has racked up 19 dingers this season and is batting a solid .279.