Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates face off for day baseball on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field. The Pirates are -120 favorites over the Cubs with an over/under run total set at 7.5.
The Chicago Cubs are going to make more news for their off the field moves over the next few weeks rather than anything they are doing on the field but this team is clearly looking ahead to the future. The Cubs are 6-4 in their last 10 games, 17-22 at home this season, and they are 15.5 games back in the NL Central. As a team the Cubs are hitting .244 with Dioner Navaro hitting .288, Nate Schierholtz hitting .282, and Wellington Castillo hitting .271. The Cubs opponents are hitting .242 with the Chicago pitching staff having an ERA of 3.94 with the starters at 3.78 and the bullpen at 4.30. For game one against the Pirates the Cubs start Jeff Samardzjia who has won his last two decisions. For the season Samadzjia has allowed 99 hits and 42 earned runs while striking out 120 over 113.1 innings for a 5-7 record and a 3.34 ERA.
The Pittsburgh Pirates lead the NL Central but they are looking to avoid the collapse they have had in the second half of the season the past two years. The Pirates are 8-2 in their last 10 games, 23-17 on the road, and they have a game lead over the Cardinals in the NL Central. As a team the Pirates are hitting .242 with Andrew McCutchen hitting .299, Starling Marte hitting .287, and Jose Tabata hitting .284. The Pirates opponents are hitting .226 and the Pittsburgh pitching staff has an ERA of 3.14 with the starters at 3.31 and the bullpen at 2.87. For game one against the Cubs the Pirates start Francisco Liriano who is having his best season since 2006. For the season Liriano has allowed 55 hits and 15 earned runs while striking out 67 over 60.2 innings for a 7-3 record and a 2.23 ERA.
Chicago is 14-3 in their last 17 home games following a road trip of seven days or more, 2-5 in their last seven games as a home underdog, and 4-0 in Samardzjia’s last four starts. Pittsburgh is 6-0 in their last six road games, 21-7 in their last 28 games as a favorite, and 4-1 in Liriano’s last five starts. Pittsburgh is 5-1 in the last six meetings of these two.
We have two arms who can bring it in this one and runs are going to be tough to come by.