Chicago Cubs (20-14) at Pittsburgh Pirates (10-21)
MLB Baseball: Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 7:05 pm (PNC Park)
Jon Lester (2-1) (4.55) vs. Chad Kuhl (1-1) (2.52)
The Line: Pittsburgh Pirates +140 / Chicago Cubs -161 --- Over/Under: 9 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates meet in an NL Central division matchup from PNC Park on Tuesday night.
The Chicago Cubs will look to build off of a 10-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds from their series finale on Sunday. All of Chicago’s scoring on the board came via the long ball as Kyle Schwarber had a pair of home runs including a grand slam for his five RBIs while Ian Happ had a pair of homers with three RBIs and Jason Heyward added a pair of solo homers as well. Anthony Rizzo and Davis Bote each had a base hit as well as the Cubs had just eight hits for the ten runs in the win. Tyler Chatwood threw 2.1 scoreless innings, leaving Colin Rea to pick up the win in relief in the 3rd to improve to 1-0 on the year. Jon Lester will start here and is 2-1 with a 4.55 ERA and 22 strikeouts this season. In his career, Lester is 12-6 with a 3.10 ERA and 115 strikeouts against Pittsburgh.
The Pittsburgh Pirates will be out to rebound from a 6-5 loss to the Brewers in Monday’s finale. Erik Gonzalez had a two-run home run while Jose Osuna added two RBIs and Adam Frazier added an RBI as well to finish off Pittsburgh’s scoring as a team in the losing effort. Cole Tucker and Jacob Stallings each pitched in a double as well to cap off the offense for Pittsburgh as the Pirates had just five hits as a team in the losing effort. Trevor Williams allowed three runs on seven hits while striking out six over four innings of work, not factoring in the decision. Nik Turley took the loss in relief to fall to 0-1 on the year. Chad Kuhl will start here and is 101 with a 2.52 ERA and 20 strikeouts this season. In his career, Kuhl is 1-6 with a 6.75 ERA and 41 strikeouts against the Cubs.
Chicago is 15-5 in their last 20 series opening matchups and 15-7 in their last 22 games as a favorite while the over is 4-1 in their last 5 road games. Pittsburgh is 5-11 in their last 16 home games and 11-40 in their last 51 games against a team with a winning record while the under is 3-1-3 in their last 7 games as a home underdog. Chicago is 12-4 in the last 16 meetings between these two teams.
I get the Cubs being favored here as the better team with the better record, but Lester hasn’t pitched like the better pitcher as of late, despite allowing one run in five innings last time out. On the other hand, the Pirates have been competitive, but they haven’t been playing well enough to warrant taking a shot with a bit of plus money compared to the larger amounts we’ve received with Pittsburgh this season. Instead, I’m going to side with the over. Kuhl’s been roughed up by the Cubbies a lot in his career, and I think we’re really starting to see a true regression of Jon Lester here. Give me the over.