How to Bet on Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs MLB Spread
The earliest a team in the modern era has clinched a playoff berth is Aug. 29, done by the 1998 New York Yankees. I’m not saying the Chicago Cubs are going to beat that, but they are running away with the National League Central Division as they face division-rival Pittsburgh on Friday to open a series. The Cubs will be favored on MLB betting odds. It’s the only matinee on Friday.
A Quick Look on How to Bet on Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs MLB Spread & Game Info
When: Friday, May 13, 2:20 PM ET
Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago
Probable pitchers (away/home): Francisco Liriano/Jason Hammel
TV: MLB Extra Innings
Radio: Pittsburgh / Chicago
Opening MLB Lines: Cubs favored by TBA
Pirates at Cubs Historic Betting Trends
The Cubs destroyed the Pirates in a three-game set in Pittsburgh to open this month. Chicago won 7-2 in Game 1. Jason Hammel gave up two runs and five hits in five-plus innings with three strikeouts and one walk. His streak of five straight starts of allowing one run or fewer ended. Anthony Rizzo hit an RBI double and scored in the third inning as the Cubs went ahead 2-1, then doubled again during a four-run fifth that pushed the lead to 6-1. Home plate umpire Laz Diaz warned both benches after Pirates reliever Kyle Lobstein hit Ben Zobrist with a pitch to lead off the seventh. That came after Hammel hit the last batter he faced, Starling Marte, with a pitch to start the bottom of the sixth. The Cubs and Pirates just don’t like each other after last season’s benches-clearing incident in the NL wild-card game.
In Game 2 of that earlier series, the Cubs won 7-1 as Jake Arrieta dominated. Kris Bryant had three hits for the Cubs. And in the series finale, the Cubs won 6-2. Zobrist hit a three-run home run, Rizzo also connected and Jon Lester worked out of a pair of jams. It was Chicago’s first three-game sweep in Pittsburgh since Sept. 7-9, 2012. Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward didn’t even play in the series due to a sore wrist. He’s back now.
Hammel (4-0, 1.85) goes here for Chicago. He struggled in a no-decision against the Nationals on Saturday, walking four and striking out three in just five innings. The Cubs came from behind to win, taking Hammel off the hook, but it was his worst start of the year and second start in a row in which he lasted just five innings. Hammel’s 3.71 BB/9 is his worst mark since 2008. He has gotten by with his secondary pitches, but that may not work a second time against Pittsburgh.
It’s lefty Francisco Liriano (3-1, 3.60) for Pittsburgh and he didn’t face Chicago in that first series. Liriano struck out 10 St. Louis batters last Friday, hurling seven innings of two-run ball. He gave up five hits and two walks in his finest performance of the young season. The southpaw threw 70 of 98 pitches for strikes and helped to end Pittsburgh’s four-game losing streak. Since joining the Pirates, Liriano has allowed two or fewer runs in nine of his 13 starts against the Cardinals.
“He was locked in,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Liriano. “You could tell from the first inning that he was making his pitches.
Expert Betting Prediction
I won’t recommend betting against the Cubs often, but I like Liriano here. Hammel is starting to regress.