Going into game three of this NL Central showdown, the Cubs (79-73, 42-35 home) are giving the start to Kyle Hendricks. On the other side, the Pirates (71-81, 33-41 away) are rolling with Johan Oviedo. Don’t miss my prediction for today’s Pittsburgh Pirates versus Chicago Cubs game in Chicago.
PITTSBURGH PIRATES VS CHICAGO CUBS BETTING PICK
The Pick: Chicago Cubs -168
This game will be played at Wrigley Field at 7:40 ET on Thursday, September 21st.
WHY BET THE CHICAGO CUBS:
- The Pirates have gone just 2-3 in their last five games.
- Over their previous ten games as the underdog, the Pirates are just 4-6 straight-up.
- The Cubs are 2-1 in Kyle Hendricks’ last three starts.
PITTSBURGH PIRATES LOOKING FOR UPSET AS ROAD UNDERDOGS
152 games into their season, the Pirates are 4th in the NL Central on an overall record of 71-81. Against other teams in the NL Central, Pittsburgh is 22-26 while their overall series win percent sits at 40%. At home, the Pirates are 38-40 and 33-41 on the road.
Johan Oviedo will take the mound for the Pirates, with an 8-14 record in 30 appearances this season. His ERA sits at 4.27, while his K/9 rate is 7.94. Additionally, Oviedo’s FIP is 4.39 and OBP is .319.
Johan Oviedo’s most recent outing saw him toss five innings for the Pirates, but he was unable to secure a win. He gave up one run on four hits, yet his team ultimately fell to the Yankees 7-5.
The Pirates have been one of the top power lineups in the league of late, having hit 10 home runs over their last ten games. Compared to other clubs, this is 9th best in that span. For the season, they are ranked 24th in home runs and 21st in slugging percentage. Overall, Pittsburgh is averaging 4.2 runs per game (21st).
Ke’Bryan Hayes has been a consistent presence in the Pirates’ lineup this season, boasting a .276 batting average and .457 slugging percentage. During the team’s last ten games, Hayes has been especially impressive, leading Pittsburgh in hits with a .390 average.
WILL THE CHICAGO CUBS TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS AT HOME?
Entering game 153 of their season, the Cubs are seven games out in the NL Central and are in 2nd place. So far, their overall series record stands at 24-17-6. Chicago’s road winning percent is currently 49.3% (37-38) compared to 54.5% at home (42-35).
Today marks Kyle Hendricks’ 23rd outing of the season, with a record of 6-7. His ERA is 3.77 and opponents have a .277 OBP against him. He has fanned 86 batters and his WHIP stands at 1.17. On the road, Hendricks’ ERA is 3.24 compared to 4.85 at home.
Kyle Hendricks took the mound for the Cubs in their matchup against the Diamondbacks, but ultimately ended with a no-decision. The righty pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on seven hits as Chicago fell 7-6.
For the season, the Cubs’ offense is averaging 5.1 runs per game. Over their last five games they have swung the bats well, sitting 3rd in the league in scoring, with a total of 33 runs. Overall, Chicago’s team batting average is .255, putting them 7th in the MLB.
Cody Bellinger has been a major contributor to the Cubs’ offensive success in 2023. He leads the team with 26 home runs and 94 RBIs, while boasting a .540 slugging percentage. The star outfielder has been an integral part of the Cubs’ lineup this season.