Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates - 6/18/16 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Pittsburgh Pirates (33-34) at Chicago Cubs (45-20)
MLB Baseball: Saturday, June 18, 2016 at 8:15 pm (Wrigley Field)
J Niese (6-3) (4.60) vs. J Lester (8-3) (1.89)
The Line: Chicago Cubs -220 / Pittsburgh Pirates +203 --- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Chicago Cubs look to extend their lead in the Central with a win versus the Pittsburgh Pirates Saturday.
The Pittsburgh Pirates need some kind of spark to turn things around from their recent struggles. That spark was nowhere to be found Friday in a 6-2 defeat at Wrigley Field for losses in eight of nine. Pirates starter Francisco Liriano was charged with four runs on six hits and five BB over 5.2 frames to absorb the loss. The Buccos managed three and walked four times with Andrew McCutchen doubling and drawing a walk. The Pirates send Jonathan Niese to the bump for game two of their series at Wrigley Field. Niese is coming off of an 8-3 loss versus St. Louis with all eight runs plated on eleven hits including two homers over 5.1 innings.
USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Cubs have been playing right around .500 baseball the past few weeks but that hasn’t hurt them because of their red hot start. The Cubs continued their winning ways in the series opener versus rival Pittsburgh on Friday with strong efforts on the mound and at the plate. Cubbies ace Jake Arrieta tossed a two hit shutout through six innings while recording eleven strikeouts. Chicago totaled nine hits and walked eleven times with Matt Szczur going deep and driving in two while Albert Almora Jr. knocking in two while Dexter Fowler scored twice. The Cubs turn to veteran left hander Jon Lester on the mound who will be facing the Pirates for the third time this year. Lester is 3-0 the last three times out with a 0.54 WHIP and 0.38 ERA.
Pittsburgh are 1-7 in their last 8 overall and are 1-7 in their last 8 games on grass while the under is 10-3 in their last 13 Saturday games. The under is 10-1 in the Cubs last 11 home games and the over is 6-2 in their last 8 Saturday games while Chicago are 47-18 in their last 65 home games. Pittsburgh are 1-7 in the last 8 meetings and the under is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings in Chicago. As long as the Cubs get quality hitting and pitching it’s hard to go against them…