Cubs are Favorites at the MLB Odds for Thursday vs. Pirates

Posted by Henry Watkins on Thursday,April 12, 2018 4:16, EDT in

The first couple of weeks of the new season are in the books and it’s fair to suggest that we have already seen a couple of surprises. In fairness, though, it seems as though every new season starts out the same way, with a couple of surprise teams hitting the top of their division and dominating the MLB odds while some of the favorites are slow out the gate. In the NL Central, we all thought that the Chicago Cubs would be back in top form, winning the division in a rather comfortable style. They have struggled a little early on, though, and are currently trailing the Pittsburgh Pirates, a team that certainly fall into the surprise category right now.

These two are in the midst of a series where the opening two games have been split, with the decider set to go on a Thursday afternoon matinee at Wrigley Field with Chicago as favorites by -1.5. Can the Pirates continue their reign at the top or will Chicago cut into that early season lead? Let’s take a closer look.

Pittsburgh at Chicago MLB Odds & Betting Pick

  • When: Thursday, April 12 at 2:20 PM EST
  • Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago
  • Starting Pitchers: Trevor Williams vs. Kyle Hendricks
  • Radio: TuneIn
  • Live Stream:
  • MLB Odds: Chicago Cubs -210 (Over/Under at 8)

Team Records

  • All: Pittsburgh Pirates 8-3 / Chicago Cubs 6-5
  • Home: Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2 / Chicago Cubs 1-1
  • Away: Pittsburgh Pirates 4-1 / Chicago Cubs 5-4
  • ATS: Pittsburgh Pirates 7-4 / Chicago Cubs 6-5
  • Over/Under: Pittsburgh Pirates 8-3 / Chicago Cubs 5-6


Recent Head to Head (Last 10 Games)

  • Runs: Pittsburgh Pirates 5.00 / Chicago Cubs 6.00
  • Hits: Pittsburgh Pirates 8.80 / Chicago Cubs 10.70
  • Walks: Pittsburgh Pirates 2.90 / Chicago Cubs 3.00
  • Strike Outs: Pittsburgh Pirates 7.50 / Chicago Cubs 7.50

Why bet on the Pittsburgh Pirates?

The Pirates are setting a torrid offensive pace to start the season, scoring 71 runs this far, good enough for second best in the league. That said, they have some legitimate concerns with their pitching, which could come back to haunt them if they suddenly see that offense start to dry up a little. The Pirates start to the season has been perfectly highlighted in their two games with the Cubs this series, scoring 13 runs but also giving up 18 in the series split.

This is certainly a fun team to watch, but you really do wonder how long they can sustain their winning ways if they continue to bleed runs at a rather alarming rate. They may be able to slow the Cubs down a little on Thursday by sending Trevor Williams to the mound. He has made a fantastic start to the season, going 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA.

Team Statistics


  • Runs: 6.45
  • Hits: 9.91
  • Walks: 3.82
  • Strike Outs: 6.27


  • Runs: 5.18
  • Hits: 9.09
  • Walks: 3.91
  • Strike Outs: 7.64

Why bet on the Chicago Cubs?

While the Cubs record is not where they would like it to be right now, it is worth remembering that they played their first 9 games of the season on the road. I would expect them to start stringing together more wins now that they are getting back into action at Wrigley Field. There are signs that the Cubs are starting to wake up after a sluggish start, taking 3 of 4 form the Brewers in their last series and now in with a shot at winning another series with a victory on Thursday.

Despite having the MLB Odds by their side, the Cubs are not a safe betting pick.

The Cubs pitching staff also seems to be rounding into some form after a slow start, and when you consider that this team is still very gifted on the offensive side of things, they could become a force to be reckoned with if the pitcher holds up their end of the bargain. The Cubs will send Kyle Hendricks (0-0, 4.09 ERA) to the mound.

Team Statistics


  • Runs: 5.18
  • Hits: 9.18
  • Walks: 4.09
  • Strike Outs: 9.64


  • Runs: 3.55
  • Hits: 7.73
  • Walks: 3.91
  • Strike Outs: 8.73

Latest MLB Betting Trends

  • Pirates are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games on the road
  • Pirates are 10-3 SU in their last 13 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of Pittsburgh’s last 5 games
  • Cubs are 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games
  • Cubs are 6-3 SU in their last 9 games when playing Pittsburgh
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of Chi Cubs’s last 7 games when playing Pittsburgh

Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction

As offensive as the first two games of the series has been, I have a feeling that this one might be a little lower scoring. I like the Pirates to upset the MLB odds and win the series.

Score: Pittsburgh Pirates 4 – Chicago Cubs 3