Don’t look now, but the Chicago Cubs are climbing up the National League Central Division standings. Much was written about this team heading into the season, but the Cubs look every bit like a playoff contender this season. We’ll see how the Cubs vs Pirates match-up will fare with our own betting preview.
Chicago just took two of three from St. Louis, and the Cubs opened up this series with a 4-3 win. The Cubs have climbed to three games over the .500 mark and could take over first place on Wednesday night.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have actually played the Cubs well this season, but the Pirates have struggled against the rest of the league. The Pirates have gone just 18-29 this season and are in last place in the crowded division.
The Chicago Cubs are the betting favorites at -135 over Pittsburgh in game two of the series. The over/under is set at 8.5 runs.
Cubs vs Pirates Preview and Pick: Bullpen Carrying Cubs
The Cubs have one of the best bullpens in baseball this season, but it is not one that draws a ton of attention. That unit has gone nearly 30 innings without yielding a run, and they have been put in some tough positions by Cubs pitchers.
Trevor Williams starts for Chicago on Wednesday night, and he has gone just 2-2 with a whopping 5.97 ERA. These numbers obviously have to improve for Williams and the Cubs, but the bullpen can make up for a bad start.
Joc Pederson blasted a pair of home runs in the series opener, and he has been red-hot since rejoining the lineup. Pederson now leads off the game, and that instantly puts pressure on opposing pitchers.
Kris Bryant and Javier Baez have both had great seasons as well, and the Cubs have needed it. Chicago has been hit hard by injury, and Nico Hoerner went down on Tuesday night.
Cubs vs Pirates Preview and Pick: Pirates Have No Offense
The Pirates have scored just 154 runs this season, which is the second-worst total in baseball. Pittsburgh did score three quick runs on Tuesday night, but that’s all the Pirates could muster.
Adam Frazier leads the league with a .335 batting average, and he has also recorded the most hits. Fraser needs to set the tone of Pittsburgh, but then it’s up to the big bats to drive him in.
Pittsburgh lost rookie sensation Ke’Bryan Hayes in the first game of the season, and that left a massive hole in the lineup. The Pirates do have some interesting young pieces, but they are not ready to contend at this time.
Wil Crowe will be on the mound Wednesday, and he is 0-2 with a
Cubs vs Pirates Preview and Pick: Chicago Too Much For Pittsburgh
Trevor Williams might be pitching for his job in the starting rotation for the Cubs, but he will also be facing his former team. Don’t expect the right-hander to be completely dominant in this game, but he will give the Cubs a chance to win.
The Pirates took a quick lead on Tuesday night, but then the offense just completely shut down. Chicago has a terrific bullpen, and that unit will play a role in limiting the Pirates’ attack once again.
Pittsburgh will have a chance to score against Williams, but it won’t be enough to beat Chicago. Bet the Chicago Cubs -135 over the Pittsburgh Pirates as the visitors pick up another victory.