Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction 4/3/14
Chicago Cubs (0-2) at Pittsburgh Pirates (2-0)
MLB Baseball: Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 12:35 pm (PNC Park)
Jason Hammel (R) (0-0) (0.00) vs. Wandy Rodriguez (L) (0-0) (0.00)
The Line: Pittsburgh Pirates -165 / Chicago Cubs +155 --- Over/Under: 7.5 See the Latest Odds
TV: CSN-Chicago, ROOT-Pittsburgh
After playing late on Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Chicago Cubs get off to an early start on Thursday as they close out their National League Central series.
The Pittsburgh Pirates needed 16 innings to get it done on Wednesday but they finally pulled out the win in the end. Jordy Mercer had two hits and drove in a run, Tony Sanchez had the game winning hit, and Starling Marte had two hits, drove in a run and scored as the Pirates scored four runs on eight hits. Starting pitcher Charlie Morton allowed four hits and struck out six over 6.0 scoreless innings but Jason Grilli blew the save before Stolmy Pimental got the win allowing two hits and striking out four over four innings of relief. For Thursday’s game it is Wandy Rodriguez getting the start. Last season Rodriguez was 6-4 with a 3.59 ERA allowing 58 hits and 26 runs while striking out 46 over 62.2 innings of work.
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The Chicago Cubs battled valiantly on Wednesday but they were unable to close the deal as they fell to the Pirates after 1 AM. Emilio Bonifacio had five hits and scored a run, Luis Valbuena had three hits, and Anthony Rizzo homered as the Cubs scored just three runs on 15 hits. Starting pitcher Edwin Jackson pitched well allowing two hits and two runs, one of them earned, while striking out five over 5.1 innings to not factor in the decision as Jose Veras blew the save and Carlos Villanueva lost for the second time in two appearances. For Wednesday’s game Chicago tries to salvage a win a they stat Jason Hammel who was 7-8 with a 4.97 ERA for Baltimore last season when he allowed 155 hits and 77 earned runs while striking out 96 over 139.1 innings of work.
Pittsburgh is 4-0 in their last four games as a favorite, 6-2 following a win, 4-12 in game three of a series, and 8-0 in Rodriguez’s last eight starts against a team with a losing record. Chicago is 11-5 in their last 16 games against a left-handed starter, 18-43 in their last 61 games, 5-16 in game three of a series, and 1-10 in their last 11 road games. Chicago is 1-6 in the last seven meetings of these two.
The Cubs would love to avoid the sweep here but in games following marathons the play is usually the favorite because it is the better team and the deeper team and that will factor with a depleted bullpen and players with little rest.
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