Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates kick off Friday MLB action as they meet for an afternoon game at Wrigley Field. The Pirates are -140 favorites over the Cubs with an over/under run total set at 7.
The Chicago Cubs have been out of the post season race since before the All Star break and Cubs fans can only hope that this is part of the breaking the team down before they can build a winner. The Cubs are 5-5 in their last 10 games, 34-34 at home this season, and 30.5 games back in the National League Central. As a team the Cubs are hitting .241 with Starlin Castro hitting .280, David DeJesus at .265, and Alfonso Soriano at .260. As a team the Cubs pitching staff has an ERA of 4.45 with the starters at 4.31 and the bullpen at 4.72. For game one against the Pirates Chicago starts Christopher Rusin who makes his fourth Major League start. Thus far Rusin has allowed 14 hits and seven earned runs while striking out nine over 11 innings for a 5.73 ERA.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are still fighting to make the post season and with time running out and more teams in the mix the Pirates need to win now as they have lost six games in a row. The Pirates are 2-8 in their last 10 games, 30-40 on the road this season, and they are 2.5 games back in the NL Wildcard race. As a team the Pirates are hitting .245 with Andrew McCutchen hitting .340, Garrett Jones hitting .283, and Neil Walker hitting .280. As a team the Pirates pitching staff has an ERA of 3.82 with the starters at 4.21 and the bullpen at 3.09. For game one at Wrigley Pittsburgh starts James McDonald who had a no decision against the Cubs in his last outing. For the season McDonald has allowed 140 hits and 73 earned runs while striking out 149 over 167.1 innings of work for a 3.93 ERA.
Chicago is 5-1 in their last six games, 6-1 in their last seven games against the NL Central, and 1-5 in their last six home games against a team with a winning record. Pittsburgh is 9-23 in their last 32 games overall, 0-6 in their last six games against the NL Central, and 1-4 in McDonald’s last five road starts against a team with a losing record. Pittsburgh has won seven of their last 10 games in Chicago.
The total in this one is set at seven and I have it going over the total on a blustery day in Chicago