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Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs - 7/8/16 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Chicago Cubs (52-32) at Pittsburgh Pirates (44-42)

MLB Baseball: Friday, July 8, 2016 at 7:05 pm (PNC Park)

J Arrieta (12-3) (2.33) vs. Chad Kuhl (1-0) (4.09)

The Line: Pittsburgh Pirates +184 / Chicago Cubs -195 --- Over/Under: 8 See the Latest Odds

TV:

The Pittsburgh Pirates look to start a new winning streak as they finally return home after a lengthy road trip to host the Chicago Cubs on Friday night.

The Cubs head into Friday night’s series opener in Pittsburgh coming off a game last night against the lowly Atlanta Braves and will look to create even more separation in the NL Central as they face off against the surging Pirates who will be out to prove they belong in the conversation as an NL playoff contender. The Cubs have been the best in baseball for most of the season and even though they have struggled a bit over the last few weeks they are still among a handful of teams to watch out for to win the World Series as they have a complete roster and a solid rotation that is led by reigning Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta. Chicago will send Arrieta to the mound in this one as he will face off against Francisco Liriano in a solid pitching match up at PNC park.

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs - 7/8/16 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates meanwhile had been red hot and were in a position to earn their second straight road sweep against the Cardinals but St. Louis got one back thanks to a strong outing from Adam Wainwright. Pittsburgh sent their second straight rookie pitcher to the mound as Tyler Glasnow was welcomed with a bang as he gave up four earned runs and look the loss in his MLB debut and spoiled a great opportunity for the Pirates to get right back in the race for the NL Central crown. However, if the Bucs can come out swinging to start this series and find a way to take it from the struggling Cubs they could very well make amends for it and rejoin the ranks as an MLB contender and shake off the rocky start they had through the months of April and May.

Chicago is 9-2 in their last 11 Friday games, 1-6 in their last seven overall, and 0-5 in their last five road games against a team with a winning home record while the Pirates are 7-1 in their last eight overall, 1-6 in Liriano’s last seven starts, and 3-7 in their last 10 against the NL Central. The odds and the trends favour the Bucs here and they have been playing the better baseball of the two clubs lately but Arrieta is so dominant and I think we can expect the Cubs to get up for this one as they take the series opener. 

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Chicago Cubs -1.5

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