The Chicago Cubs are tied for first in the NL Central with the Milwaukee Brewers, but the Cubbies haven’t been playing particularly well over the past few weeks. The open a series at division rival Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday and it’s nationally televised. The Cubs are slight favorites on the MLB odds.
How to Bet Cubs at Pirates MLB Odds & TV Info
- When: Monday, 7 PM ET
- Where: PNC Park
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Adbert Alzolay/Trevor Williams
- TV: ESPN
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
- Radio: 93.7 The Fan
- MLB Odds: Chicago Cubs -125 (Total 9.5)
Why Bet on Chicago?The Cubbies are off an 8-6 loss Sunday in Cincinnati, losing two of three in the series. At 14-15 in June, the Cubs couldn’t avoid their first sub-.500 month since going 12-16 in May of 2017, as the club had a stretch of 12-consecutive winning months in the regular season dating to June of 2017. Only once in franchise history had the team had a long stretch of consecutive winning months, and that was 38-straight months from May of 1905 through July of 1911.
Jason Heyward hit a three-run home run in Sunday’s loss. With the Cubs trailing by five runs and down to their final out, Heyward kept hopes alive with a three-run rocket to right field. Heyward has reached 14 homers for the first time since the 2013 season. It’s been a rejuvenating season all around for Heyward, who’s hitting .271/.362/.473 in 79 games. Star shortstop Javier Baez got Sunday off but should be back in there Monday. He had a grand slam on Saturday. He’s up to 20 dingers with 56 RBIs.
Baez and catcher Willson Contreras were named starters for the NL All-Star team. Third baseman Kris Bryant was named a reserve. Baez is only the third player in major league history to start an All-Star Game at both shortstop and second base, the first to ever do so in consecutive seasons. He joins Bobby Grich and Granny Hamner as the lone players to start an All-Star Game at both shortstop and second base. Grich did so once at shortstop (1972) and twice at second base (1976, 1982), all in the A.L., while Hamner did so once at shortstop (1952) and once at second base (1954) in the N.L.
Contreras is the first Cubs catcher to start consecutive All-Star games since Gabby Hartnett in 1936-37. Bryant returns to the All-Star Game after a two-year absence, having last appeared in 2016, when he smacked a first-inning home run off Chris Sale. Bryant will try to become the first Cubs player to have multiple All-Star Game homers in his career.
It’s the Cubs’ top pitching prospect on Monday in rookie Adbert Alzolay (1-0, 2.08). In the wake of being named to the NL’s Futures Game roster, Alzolay will make his second career start. The right-hander worked 4 2/3 innings against the Braves on Tuesday, allowing one solo homer and ending with four strikeouts and four walks.
Alzolay made his major league debut June 20 vs. the Mets, allowing just one hit and one run (a solo homer) in 4.0+ innings. He is the third pitcher in MLB, and the first Cub, since 1920 to pitch at least 4.0 innings and allow one or fewer hits in each of his first two appearances. Alzolay Is sporting a .000 BABIP through his first two outings as both of his hits allowed have been home runs. He went 2-1 with a 0.94 WHIP and 3.09 ERA (11 ER/32.0 IP) in six starts with Triple-A Iowa this season, recording 46 strikeouts with only six walks in 32.0 innings.
- Runs: 5.07
- Hits: 8.45
- Walks: 3.86
- Strike Outs: 8.98
- Runs: 4.31
- Hits: 8.23
- Walks: 3.51
- Strike Outs: 8.64
Why Bet on Pittsburgh?The Pirates have won four straight home games and six of their last seven. In their last seven games played at PNC Park, the Bucs are batting .310 (75-for-242) with 19 doubles, eight home runs and 44 runs scored (6.3 per game average). With 54 extra-base hits, Josh Bell is one shy of the club record for most XBH prior to the All-Star break. Outfielder Nate McLouth set the mark with 55 in 2008.
The Pirates are on a two-game losing streak, scoring just two combined runs in losses in Milwaukee. It’s thought the Bucs will be sellers ahead of the trade deadline, but Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said that the team is not looking to move closer Felipe Vazquez.
“Our expectation and anticipation is that Felipe will be closing out playoff games, be it this year or in the future with us,” Huntington said over the weekend. MLB.com’s Jon Morosi reported near the end of June that the Dodgers were interested in potentially making a move for Vazquez. The lefty owns a 1.80 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 55/9 K/BB ratio in 35 innings. He is 19-of-20 in save opportunities.
Pittsburgh is without outfielder Gregory Polanco. He’s on the injured list with left shoulder inflammation. He has a .242 batting average with six home runs and 17 RBI in 42 games.
It’s Trevor Williams (2-2, 4.25) on the mound. Williams will be facing the Cubs for the first time this year. The 27-year-old right-hander is scheduled to make his 12th start of the season. His last start was a 5-1 loss to Gerrit Cole in Houston on Tuesday (6.2ip/8h/4r/4er/0bb/4so). Williams was on the injured list from 5/17 thru 6/18 with a right side strain.
Career against the Cubs, Williams is 2-4 with a 3.68 ERA (36.2ip/15er) in eight career appearances (six starts). He went 1-2 in three starts last year; beat Kyle Hendricks, 6-1, on 4/12 at Wrigley Field (6.0ip/1er), lost a 1-0 decision (7.0ip/1r) to Cole Hamels on 8/17 at PNC Park and lost a 3-0 decision to Jon Lester on 9/27 at Wrigley Field (5.0ip/3er). Williams also lost a 6-1 decision on 7/7/17 at Wrigley Field (3.2ip/3er) and suffered a 6-1 loss to Mike Montgomery on 8/28/17 at Wrigley (5.0ip/2er).
- Runs: 4.59
- Hits: 9.29
- Walks: 2.71
- Strike Outs: 7.90
- Runs: 5.27
- Hits: 9.09
- Walks: 3.68
- Strike Outs: 8.84
Cubs vs Pirates MLB Betting Trends
- Under is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings in Pittsburgh
- Cubs are 3-10 SU in their last 13 games on the road
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Chi Cubs’ last 5 games when playing on the road against Pittsburgh
- Pirates are 6-1 SU in their last 7 games at home
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Pittsburgh’s last 6 games against an opponent in the National League