Pirates at Cubs - 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 Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs square off for game two of the series Saturday night on FOX.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are desperate for a win after losing eight of their last nine games. The Pirates have allowed 23 runs in their last three games and five or more runs in eight of their last nine games. The Pittsburgh Pirates have an ERA of 4.32 and have lost nine straight games when allowing more than three runs. Offensively, Starling Marte leads Pittsburgh with 80 hits, Josh Harrison has 31 RBI and Gregory Polanco has nine home runs. Jonathon Niese gets the nod, and he’s 6-3 with a 4.60 ERA and 54 strikeouts this season. Niese is 3-7 with a 5.23 ERA and 48 strikeouts in his career against the Cubs.
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The Chicago Cubs look to stay hot after winning 10 of their last 15 games. The Cubs have scored 14 runs in their last three games and four or more runs in six of their last eight games. The Chicago Cubs offense continues to produce, and they’ve won six of their last seven games when scoring more than three runs. Dexter Fowler leads Chicago with 69 hits, Ben Zobrist has 40 RBI and Kris Bryant has 15 home runs. Jon Lester takes the hill, and he’s 8-3 with a 1.89 ERA and 85 strikeouts this season. Lester is 3-3 with a 1.52 ERA and 41 strikeouts in his career against the Pirates.
The Pirates are 1-5 in their last 6 Saturday games and 5-2 in Nieses last 7 starts with 5 days of rest. The Cubs are 5-1 in their last 6 Saturday games and 4-0 in Lesters last 4 starts. The Pirates are 1-7 in the last 8 meetings.
The Pirates are just unbackable during this massive losing stretch, and Niese has had more than his fair share of struggles this season. Add Lester on the hill, and you have to like the Cubs to keep rolling. Pittsburgh just holds no value in its current form.