Pirates vs. Cubs - 10/7/15 NL Wild Card Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
MLB Baseball: Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 8:00 pm (PNC Park)
Jake Arrieta vs. Gerrit Cole
The Line: Cubs -127 / Pirates +117 -- Over/Under: 5.5 See the Latest Odds
The Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates play a National League wild card game Wednesday at PNC Park.
The Chicago Cubs finished the regular season with a 97-65 record and have won their last eight games. The Cubs are finally looking to turn the corner after not making the playoffs since 2008. The Chicago Cubs made it this far thanks to a pitching staff that has the third best ERA in all of baseball. Offensively, Anthony Rizzo leads Chicago with 163 hits, Kris Bryant has 99 RBI and Dexter Fowler has 20 stolen bases. The Cubs are young but have gained confidence as of late and won’t be intimidated by the bright lights. Jake Arrieta gets the nod, and he’s 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA and 236 strikeouts this season. Arrieta is 6-1 with a 1.68 ERA and 51 strikeouts in his career against the Pirates.
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The Pittsburgh Pirates finished the regular season with a 98-64 record and have split their last eight games. This is the Pirates third straight playoff appearance, and they hope this one is longer than the past. The Pirates had the second best ERA in baseball and were ninth in total strikeouts. Offensively, Starling Marte leads Pittsburgh with 166 hits, Andrew McCutchen has 96 RBI and Pedro Alvarez has 27 home runs. The Pittsburgh Pirates are an experienced bunch that simply finds a way to win most of the time and is dangerous if they advance here. Gerrit Cole takes the hill, and he’s 19-8 with a 2.60 ERA and 202 strikeouts this season. Cole is 7-1 with a 2.88 ERA and 69 strikeouts in his career against the Cubs.
This is likely going to be a pitchers duel, as both pitchers were at the top of their game this season and they've both had their way against the opposing team over the curse of their careers. And while Arrieta gives the Cubs the slight advantage, I can't bet against the more experienced team that's also at home.
The Cubs are young and haven't been in this spot before. The Pirates have been here three straight times. So, same reason I'm backing the Yankees and the plus money, I'm siding with the Pirates to find a way to get this thing done.