Chicago Cubs (21-14) at Pittsburgh Pirates (10-23)
MLB Baseball: Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 1:35 pm (PNC Park)
Alec Mills (3-2) (5.23) vs. JT Brubaker (0-0) (4.50)
The Line: Pittsburgh Pirates +136 / Chicago Cubs -146 --- Over/Under: 10 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates meet in an NL Central division matchup in MLB action from PNC Park on Thursday.
The Chicago Cubs will look to build off of an 8-2 win over the Pirates last time out. Javier Baez led the way with a three-run home run while Anthony Rizzo had a double and two RBIs. Willson Contreras went 3 for 5 with a double and an RBI while Ian Happ went 2 for 5 with a double and Cameron Maybin added a two-bagger as well. Nico Hoerner chipped in a base hit to finish off Chicago’s offense as a team in the winning effort. Kyle Hendricks got the win after improving to 4-4 after allowing one run on six hits while striking out six over six innings of work. Alec Mills will start here and is 3-2 with a 5.23 ERA and 24 strikeouts this season. This will be Mills’ first career start against Pittsburgh.
The Pittsburgh Pirates will try to bounce back from another loss after Wednesday’s defeat. Anthony Alford and Colin Moran each had a solo home run to make up Pittsburgh’s scoring output in the loss while Gregory Polanco went 2 for 4 with a double. Josh Bell, Kevin Newman and Adam Frazier each had a base hit as well to cap off the Pirates’ scoring as a team in the losing effort. Joe Musgrove took the loss, falling to 0-4 after allowing two runs on three hits while striking out four over three innings of work. JT Brubaker will start here and is 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA and 22 strikeouts this season. This will be Brubaker’s first career start against the Cubs.
Chicago is 7-1 in their last 8 games against a team with a winning percentage below .400 and 16-7 in their last 23 games as a favorite while the over is 4-1 in their last 5 games within the division. Pittsburgh is 5-11 in their last 16 games as a home underdog and 5-12 in their last 17 home games while the over is 4-1 in their last 5 games overall. Chicago is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings between these two teams.
I think it’s safe to say that the Cubs are the better team here and have done a good job of beating teams they should beat. The problem here is that Alec Mills hasn’t been great and he has a 5.74 ERA over five starts in the month of August. JT Brubaker isn’t a staff ace by any means (yet), but he’s been involved in Pittsburgh winning in three of his starts this season and it’s mostly been due to a solid start. I just think if there’s a game that Pittsburgh steals, it’s probably this one, so give me the Pirates and the plus money in this one.