Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates NL Wild Card Betting Pick

Posted by Daniel Strum on October 6, 2015 in

In one of the most intriguing matchups in this week’s MLB odds, the Pittsburgh Pirates (98-64) will be hosting the Chicago Cubs (97-65) in an NL Wild Card Playoff game that features two members of the same division, the NL Central. Making matters more interesting for this divisional rivalry game, the showdown will feature two of the strongest NL Cy Young Candidates in Jake Arrieta (Chicago) and Gerrit Cole (Pittsburgh) in an epic pitching battle.

As if that is not alluring enough, Arrieta’s second-last pitching start in the regular season came against the Pirates, a game that ended 4-0 in favor of the Cubs. With the Pirates hoping to get their revenge, and Arrieta seeking to lead his team to another win, who will be claiming the win this Wednesday? Read on as we give all the juicy MLB betting details in the game analysis below.

Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates NL Wild Card Betting Pick

Venue:  PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Date: Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Time: 8:08 PM ET

Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates Historic Betting Trends

Boasting of being one of the two players in the MLB to compile a 20-plus win record this season, Arrieta’s reputation precedes him ahead of this game. With an immaculate 22-6 record with a 1.77 ERA and a WHIP of 0.86, along with a career high 236 strikeouts, the Farmington, Missouri native is definitely worth all the fuss being created about him in the run for the NL Cy Young Award.

On Monday, he won his second consecutive pitcher of the month award, following a sterling August campaign with a dominating show in September, where he went 4-0 with a 0.45 ERA while allowing opponents to hit just .148 against him. Even more notably, the 29-year-old pitcher led all qualifying pitchers in the past 30 days with five wins, a 0.39 ERA, a 0.57 WHIP while holding opponents to a .141 batting average. Added to him going seven full innings of one hit ball in the 4-0 Chicago win victory over the Pirates on September 27th, it goes without saying that Pittsburgh fans have a long night ahead of them this Wednesday.

Cole’s numbers may not be in Arrieta’s ballpark, but that is not to say that he hasn’t been astounding for his team. The 25-year-old pitcher has been remarkable on the season, posting an impressive a 19-8 record, 2.60 ERA and 1.09 WHIP over 208 innings of work. In his last outing on the mound for Pittsburgh, Cole was a true one-eyed Pirate, as he kept the NL Central division-winning Cardinals’ offense to seven hits on two earned runs over seven innings, leading the Pirates to an emphatic 7-2 win.

Moreover, in his four starts against Chicago this season, Cole is 2-1 with one no decision, underlining his strong credentials as his team’s best pitcher. Added to the noteworthy fact that Cole has compiled a staggering 7-1 record with a 2.88 ERA and 69 strikeouts in his career when facing the Cubs, it’s easy to understand why his duel against Arrieta is a bettor’s worst dilemma.

Given that both pitchers are absolute virtuosos on the hill, something’s gotta give eventually, and from our analysis, the winning team could be decided by the offensive strengths of the two teams. And in that regard, the Pirates appear to have a slight upper hand, considering Pittsburgh bested Chicago in all major offensive categories in this regular season, except in slugging percentage (.396 vs .398). Still, it remains to be seen if this offense will outmatch Arrieta, who has a slight efficiency edge over his younger pitching counterpart and has been a real monster on the mound over the past two months.

Key Betting Trends

  • Chicago is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
  • Pittsburgh is 11-4 SU in its last 15 games
  • Chicago is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road
  • Pittsburgh is 3-6 SU in its last 9 games at home
  • Chicago is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games against Pittsburgh
  • The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Chicago’s last 12 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Pittsburgh’s last 10 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Pittsburgh’s last 6 games against Chicago

My Betting Prediction

Even with their offensive advantage and home-ground support, this game doesn’t look favorable for the Pirates because of the Arrieta factor. Yes, Cole has been just as good on the hill and his aforementioned record against the Cubs speaks for itself. But going by the way Arrieta has been lights out on the mound, we feel he will be able to thwart Pittsburgh’s attacks and earn the Cubs a narrow road win. As for our best pick; an UNDER run total looks most befitting to recommend to you, going by the quality of the two pitchers and the UNDER betting trend that has been paying in the majority of the past fixtures between the two teams.