Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates - 5/13/16 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Pittsburgh Pirates (18-15) at Chicago Cubs (25-8)
MLB Baseball: Friday, May 13, 2016 at 2:20 pm (Wrigley Field)
F Liriano (3-1) (3.60) vs. J Hammel (4-0) (1.85)
The Line: Chicago Cubs -141 / Pittsburgh Pirates +130 --- Over/Under: 9 See the Latest Odds
TV: WGN, RTPT
Early Friday afternoon in MLB action, we’ve got game one of a rivalry series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Both teams had an off-day on Thursday. The Pirates played a pair of early-week games against the Reds, dropping the opener before eking out a victory on Wednesday. Both games were decided by just one run (3-2 and 5-4).
As for the Cubs, they tangled with the Padres this week in a three-game set. Chicago won the opener 8-7, but then lost both games of a Wednesday doubleheader 7-4 and 1-0.
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The Pirates will be rolling out left-hander Francisco Liriano as their starting pitcher for Friday’s game. Over his six starts and 35 innings this year, Liriano has posted a 3-1 record with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. Last Friday in his most recent start, Liriano put up a season-high 10 strikeouts against the Cardinals, allowing two runs in seven innings.
The Pittsburgh batting order is one of the most solid in the league from top to bottom. Starling Marte leads the way on 44 hits with 13 doubles and 19 runs. Josh Harrison has also been quite productive on 38 hits with 18 RBI. Gregory Polanco is also a big contributor with 21 runs and 19 RBI.
Over on the Cubs’ side, they’ll be giving the Friday nod to right-hander Jason Hammel. In his six starts this year, Hammel sports a 4-0 record with a 1.85 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 34 innings of work. On Saturday when we last saw him, Hammel put up five innings against the Nationals, allowing three runs in a no-decision.
The Cubs are no slouches when it comes to scoring, either. Dexter Fowler heads up their powerful order, with 38 hits and 25 runs to his credit. Kris Bryant is right behind him with 37 hits, 24 runs and 22 RBI. Anthony Rizzo has been the big swinger this season, with 10 homers, 27 runs and 29 RBI, all team-highs.
The Pirates are 5-0 in Liriano’s last five Friday starts, and 10-1 in Liriano’s last 11 against the National League Central.
Meanwhile, the Cubs are 7-1 in their last eight games following a loss, and 6-0 in Hammel’s last six starts against the National League Central.
This game is a tough call. I’ll give the Cubs a slight edge since they’re at home, though. Given a stout pitching matchup I feel like the under will be a reasonable play, especially with the bar set so high.