Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs
The Pittsburgh Pirates and the Chicago Cubs face off on Thursday afternoon in Pittsburgh as they close out their three game series. The Pirates are -125 favorites over the Cubs with an over/under run total set at 8.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are looking for a sweep of the Cubs after winning game two of the series on Wednesday. Andrew McCutchen had two hits and scored a run and Starling Marte had a hit and a RBI as the Pirates scored one run on three hits in all. Starting pitcher Francisco Liriano allowed just two hits and struck out nine over 7.0 innings to get the win and go to 3-0 on the season and Mark Melancon earned his first save of the season. For Thursday’s game Pittsburgh starts Jeanmar Gomez who hasn’t taken a loss this season. Fir the year Gomez has allowed 25 hits and 10 earned runs while striking out 19 over 32.1 innings for a 2-0 record and a 2.78 ERA.
The Chicago Cubs have played the Pirates close in the first two games of their series but all it has amounted to is two one run losses. Wellington Castillo had two hits, Julio Borbon had a hit, and Cody Ransom had a hit as the Cubs were shutout on four hits. Starting pitcher Jeff Samardzjia allowed three hits and a run while striking out eight over seven innings to take the loss and fall to 2-6 on the season. For Thursday’s game Chicago starts Edwin Jackson who has lost three of his last four starts. For the season Jackson has allowed 55 hits and 32 earned runs while striking out 46 over 50 innings for a 1-6 record and a 5.76 ERA.
Pittsburgh is 7-1in their last eight games overall, 5-0 against the NL Central, and 4-0 in Gomez’s last four starts. Chicago is 19-42 in their last 62 games against a team with a winning record, 25-61 in their last 86 road games, and 1-5 in Jackson’s last six starts as an underdog. Chicago is 5-3 in their last eight meetings in Pittsburgh.
The Bats were quiet on Wednesday but I expect them to liven up on Thursday and my pick is on the over.