Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs - 5/2/16 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Chicago Cubs (17-6) at Pittsburgh Pirates (15-10)
MLB Baseball: Monday, May 2, 2016 at 7:05 pm (PNC Park)
J Hammel (3-0) (0.75) vs. G Cole (2-2) (2.78)
The Line: Pittsburgh Pirates -113 / Chicago Cubs +104 --- Over/Under: 7 See the Latest Odds
TV: CSCh, ESPN, RTPT
Monday evening at PNC Park, the Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates will be renewing their rivalry with game one of their early-week series.
The Cubs are coming off a weekend set against the Braves. Chicago won Friday’s opener 6-1, and Saturday’s game was postponed (rain). On Sunday the Braves pulled off a 10-inning shocker, defeating Chicago 4-3 in a game that featured just 11 hits all together.
As for the Pirates, they played a three-game series with the Reds over the weekend. Pittsburgh took games one and two by a combined 9-2 score, but on Sunday the Pirates lost 6-5 in an 11-inning marathon.
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For Monday’s series opener, the Cubs will be rolling out right-hander Jason Hammel. Over his four starts and 24 innings so far, Hammel has produced a 3-0 record with a 0.75 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. Way back last Sunday in his most recent outing, Hammel logged six shutout innings with seven strikeouts against the Reds.
So far, the upstart Cubs have dealt pretty well with their increased expectations on offense. Dexter Fowler leads the charge on 28 hits with 20 runs in 2016, while Kris Bryant has put up 25 hits and 17 runs. Anthony Rizzo is the big-hitting RBI king so far with eight homers and 24 RBI. Rizzo went 1-for-4 in Sunday’s game.
Over on the Pittsburgh side, we’ll be seeing right-hander Gerrit Cole in Monday’s starting role. Cole started out the year on a rocky note, but has since straightened things out with his 2.78 ERA and 1.19 WHIP over 22.2 innings, four starts and 2-2 record. On Tuesday against the Rockies, Cole logged a win on four runs (two earned) in six innings.
The Pirates offense knows a thing or two about producing runs as well. Starling Marte has been sensational with 34 hits, 16 runs and 13 RBI. Josh Harrison is hot on his heels with 31 hits, 13 runs and 15 RBI. Big-swinging Andrew McCutchen has accounted for five homers, 17 runs and 10 RBI.
The Cubs are 7-0 in their last seven Monday games, and 5-0 in Hammel’s last five starts against the National League Central.
As for the Pirates, they’re 7-2 in their last nine game ones of a series, and 13-3 in Cole’s last 16 home starts versus a team with a winning record.
This should be a great--and reasonably close--game. I’m staying put on the Cubs bandwagon this year, though (despite the limp showing on Sunday), so I’ll take Hammel and Chicago to get the victory here.