Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs Expert MLB Betting Pick
There’s no sure thing in baseball betting of course. It there were, the sportsbooks wouldn’t offer odds on it. But almost a sure thing since last summer has been betting on the Chicago Cubs and ace pitcher Jake Arrieta. And he’s on the mound for Saturday afternoon’s game at Wrigley against Pittsburgh.
A Quick Report on Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs Expert MLB Betting Pick & TV Info
— #VoteCubs (@Cubs) May 13, 2016
When: Saturday, May 14, 2:20 PM ET
Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago
Probable pitchers (away/home): Jeff Locke/Jake Arrieta
TV: MLB Extra Innings
Radio: Pittsburgh / Chicago
Opening MLB Lines: Cubs favored by TBA
Pirates at Cubs Historic Betting Trends
What is wrong with Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward? Chicago won a free-agent bidding war for Heyward this offseason for more than $180 million. Right now, that looks like a bust. Heyward is batting just .212 this season without a homer. Just for a point of comparison, Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard hit two homers on Wednesday! Heyward’s situational numbers are even worse. He leads the team with 14 strikeouts with men on base and has advanced a runner from second to third with no outs only 50 percent of the time. He accomplished that at a 71 percent clip last year with St. Louis. Heyward says the sore right wrist that hampered him earlier this month isn’t an issue. He has been a slow starter his entire career. Heyward’s on-base percentage increases every month of the season over his career.
As for Arrieta (6-0, 1.13), he’s the early favorite to repeat as NL Cy Young winner. This week, the Washington Nationals and ace Stephen Strasburg agreed to a seven-year, $175 million extension. Arrieta is up for free agency after next season and says he wants more than that and won’t give the Cubs a hometown discount. Arrieta, whose ERA is 0.92 over his past 27 starts, is making $10.7 million and has one year left of arbitration. The Cubs have won his past 20 regular-season starts.
Arrieta came away without a decision in last Sunday’s extra-inning win over the Nationals, lasting just five innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits and four walks while striking out seven. The Nats did a good job elevating his pitch count, as Arrieta needed 100 pitches (64 strikes) to get through the five frames. There are signs that his run of dominance might be coming to an end, as he has a shaky 24:14 K:BB over his last 26 innings (four starts). Arrieta did dominate Pittsburgh on May 3, shutting the Pirates out on two hits over seven innings. Two Bucs have hit Arrieta well over their careers. Andrew McCutchen is 8-for-25 with two doubles. Matt Joyce is 7-for-17 with two doubles, a homer and four RBIs.
Pittsburgh goes with lefty Jeff Locke (1-2, 4.68). Locke did not factor into the decision in last Saturday’s 6-4 loss to the Cardinals, surrendering four hits, three earned runs and two walks over six innings. He also struck out a batter. The 28-year-old now has three straight quality starts under his belt. Locke made four starts against the Cubs in 2015. Locke was just 0-1 but had a 9.00 ERA in 18.0 innings. The Cubs had 18 runs and 25 hits against him, including four homers. Anthony Rizzo hits him hard, going 7-for-20 with three homers, two doubles and five RBIs. Heyward is 7-for-19 with a double and four RBIs.
Expert Betting Prediction
Are you kidding? Stay on the Arrieta train until he actually loses.