MLB Picks and Parlays: Chicago and Pittsburgh Meet Up on Labor Day
Chicago Cubs may not be firing quite on all cylinders, but they are back on track to make the playoffs and try to defend their World Series title. Addison Russell, Willson Contreras and Javier Baez are all key contributors currently out with injuries, and Jon Lester recently returned from a sting on the DL. And newly acquired pitched Jose Quintana brought in stabilize the starting pitching, has been mediocre at best.
In spite of those events Chicago is maintaining a 3.5 game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central and are 12-4 in their last sixteen.
They had a six-game winning streak snapped on Sunday that saw them sweep Pittsburgh at home and take the first three of their series with the Braves. The last game went Atlanta’s way as they emerged with a 5-1 win.
Chicago had outscored their opponents 49-19 in the six wins, but in their last game rookie Max Fried making his first big league start shut down the high-flying offense. The only run came courtesy of the 21st homerun from rookie Ian Happ.
Baez took a knee to the right eye and had to leave the came with blurred vision and may be available on Monday.
Pittsburgh Pirates comes into this series winners of two straight over Cincinnati which snapped a four-game losing streak. The team has fallen out of contention as they are 7-14 in their last 21 games. Several key components to the offense are out for Monday’s game including OF Gregory Polanco, catcher Francisco Cervelli, OF Adam Frazier and 2B Pittsburgh Pirates.
On Sunday they beat the Reds 3-1 as Trevor Williams pitched out of multiple jams on the way to seven scoreless innings. Jordy Mercer, Jordan Luplow and Starling Marte provided the run support.
Chicago is averaging 6.5 RPG since the start of August which is tops in the NL. The team ERA is 4.22.
Pittsburgh is averaging 3.91 RPG since the start of August which is 12th overall. The team ERA is 4.92.
Jake Arrieta (14-8, 3.36 ) is looking like the man who won the Cy Young two years ago. He’s got a 1.85 in ten starts since the start of July and hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last two starts. He fired six scoreless innings in a 4-1 win over Pittsburgh last time out.
Chad Kuhl (6-10, 4.54 ERA) had a 3.27 ERA in July and followed it up with a 3.62 ERA in August, but he has not performed well against the Cubs. He’s allowed 13 runs in ten innings over three starts. Last time out he gave up three in 5.1 innings as he took the loss against Arrieta and the Cubs.
- Chi Cubs are 6-1 SU in their last 7 games
Chi Cubs are 17-7 SU in their last 24 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Chi Cubs’s last 8 games when playing Pittsburgh
- The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Pittsburgh’s last 8 games
Pittsburgh is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Pittsburgh’s last 5 games at home
Cash It In: Chicago are -183 favorites and the Pirates +158 underdogs. No reason to think that Arrieta and company against a weak Pirates offense won’t be able to repeat what they did last week. Cubs 6-2.