Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs - 7/9/16 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Chicago Cubs (52-34) at Pittsburgh Pirates (45-42)
MLB Baseball: Saturday, July 9, 2016 at 7:15 pm (PNC Park)
J Lester (9-4) (2.67) vs. Chad Kuhl (1-0) (4.09)
The Line: Pittsburgh Pirates +162 / Chicago Cubs -172 --- Over/Under: 8 See the Latest Odds
Coming up in MLB action on Saturday, we’ve got a great matchup between the Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates from PNC Park.
This will be game two of the set. In Friday’s opener, the Pirates took an 8-4 victory.
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For Saturday’s game, the Cubs will be rolling with Jon Lester (LHP) in the start. Over his 17 starts and 9-4 record this year, Lester holds a 2.67 ERA with a 1.05 WHIP in 107.2 innings. Lester was blown out in his last start against the Mets, giving up nine hits and eight runs in just 1.1 innings.
Thankfully, Chicago has enough offensive firepower to overcome just about anything. Kris Bryant sits atop the heap on 90 hits with 69 runs, 25 homers and 64 RBI. Ben Zobrist has put up 84 hits with 57 runs, 12 homers and 45 RBI. Anthony Rizzo holds 84 hits with 52 runs, 2` homers and 62 RBI so far. Rizzo slapped a solo homer on Friday.
Over on the Pirates’ side, we’ll be getting another look at right-hander Chad Kuhl in the start. In his two starts and 1-0 record this year, Kuhl has managed a 4.09 ERA with a 1.36 WHIP in 11 innings. In his last start against the A’s, Kuhl put up seven hits with two earned for a no-decision.
Pittsburgh has a great set of hitters this year as well. Starling Marte heads things up, with 97 hits, 46 runs, six homers and 32 RBI. Gregory Polanco has hit 12 homers with 50 RBI, 86 hits and 50 runs. Josh Harrison isn’t too far back with 83 hits, 34 runs and 40 RBI. Polonco and Harrison combined to go 0-for-7 on Friday.
The Cubs are 48-21 in their last 69 game twos of a series, and 23-11 in their last 34 Saturday games. Chicago is also 6-1 in Lester’s last seven game twos of a series, and 6-2 in Lester’s last eight starts overall.
Meanwhile, the Pirates are 4-0 in their last four game twos of a series, and 5-1 in their last six games against a left-handed starter. Pittsburgh is also 4-7 in their last 11 against the National League Central, and 8-1 in their last nine overall.
This is a pretty tough call, but I like the under given the pitching matchup. I’ll also give the Pirates a slight edge for home field.