MLB Picks: Bet Sharp & Early On The 'Under' In Cubs vs. Pirates

Wednesday, May 4, 2016 7:39 PM GMT

Our sports handicapper provides an excellent MLB betting preview of Wednesday afternoon's NL Central matchup between the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates.

Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Cubs and Pirates continue their series on Wednesday in an early start matinee affair. Jon Lester will oppose Juan Nicasio in this pitching matchup and both starters should be equipped to pitch well here. Lester has been strong this season particularly on the highway where he has a 1.29 ERA while giving up just 2 runs on 9 hits in 14 innings of work over a span of two road starts with the Cubs going 2-0 in those outings. Lester dominated the Pirates last season allowing just 4 runs in 23 innings of work over three starts against Pittsburgh last season.

On the flip side, Juan Nicasio has certainly looked very comfortable pitching here at PNC Park which is the kind of place that fits his pitching style quite well. Nicasio has a sparkling 1.89 ERA in his three home starts this season allowing only 4 runs in 19 innings surrendering only a single home run and registering a terrific 21-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio and the Pirates have been winning when Nicasio has pitched at PNC as they are a perfect 3-0 in his home starts.

The bullpen edge definitely goes to the Chicago Cubs as the Pirates have had some struggles with their pen early in the season so if this game is close after both starters depart, it could favor the Cubs but there are no bargains here to bet on Chicago with the Cubs laying in the -135 to -140 range on the MLB odds as the road favorite here.

Recommendation:
I am going to stay away from the side in what should be a solid pitching matchup but will lean toward this game staying Under the total of 7.5 runs which is priced as low as -118 currently at Heritage. It's always tricky to play Cubs games Under the total with how explosive their lineup has been so far this season but if Lester and Nicasio pitch up to the level they have shown, they should be able to have some success neutralizing these two lineups. I'll look for a lower scoring affair and call for this game to slip Under the total. Back this Wednesday game as one of your MLB picks.

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Free MLB Pick: Under 7.5
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker (2 UNIT PLAY)