Capper Leans on Bucs Once More, Lock Pirates +180 vs. Cubs

Darin Zank

Sunday, September 27, 2015 5:54 PM GMT

The Pirates, thank you very much, have providied this handicapper with a pair of betting victories over the last couple of days, beating the  Cubbies twice at Wrigley Field. 

Pirates-Cubs Sunday Odds
As of this writing the best MLB betting odds we could find on Chicago with Jake Arrieta was the -186 offered at BetOnline, while Pittsburgh with AJ Burnett was getting +180 at 5Dimes.

 

The Situation
Pittsburgh has taken the first two games of this series, following Saturday's 4-0 victory. So the Pirates have now won eight games in a row, while Chicago has lost three straight.

Pittsburgh still trails division-leading St. Louis by three games in the NL Central race, but leads the Cubs by 5.5 games in the fight to host the National League wild-card game.

Big-picture, the Pirates could still catch the Cardinals in the divisional race, while Chicago probably can't. And the Cubs would have to make up six games on Pittsburgh from here on out to claim that wild-card home-field. So realistically the Pirates still have plenty to play for, while Chicago, not so much.

The Cubs lead the season series with the Pirates 10 games to eight, with the totals splitting 8-8-2.

 

Sunday's Starters
These two starting pitchers have already squared off twice this season; Pittsburgh won the first meeting 3-0 back in May, while Chicago took the second match 3-2 eleven days ago.

Arrieta (20-6, 1.88), by our tough accounting, is 23-for-31 on quality starts this season, working on a run of 11 in a row. Tuesday he tossed a complete-game, three-hit shutout against Milwaukee, whiffing 11, and over his last 11 starts he's left the game without allowing an earned run seven times.

Chicago is 23-8 in Arrieta's starts this season, with the UNDERS going 18-8.

In four starts this year against Pittsburgh Arrieta has allowed just three earned runs through 29 innings; the Cubs won three of those games, with the UNDERS going 3-0-1.

Burnett (9-5, 3.15) is 13-for-24 on quality starts this season, but 0 for his last seven, although part of that is due to a short leash. Monday he gave up three runs – two earned – through 5 2/3 innings against Colorado, while over his last three starts he's allowed seven ER through 16 innings.

The Pirates are 13-11 in Burnett's starts this year, with the OVERS going 13-10.

In three starts this season against Chicago Burnett has allowed just three runs through 18 1/3 innings; Pittsburgh, thanks to some poor run support, lost two of those games, while the UNDERS went 2-0-1.

 

Sunday's Batting Splits
Pittsburgh ranks fifth this season against right-handed pitching with a .327 team on-base percentage, and 16th with a .403 team slugging percentage.

Chicago, meanwhile, ranks 11th against righties with a .321 team OBP and 15th with a .408 team slugging percentage.

 

Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at Wrigley this season are now 42-33 on the UNDERS, averaging 7.9 runs per.

 

Pirates-Cubs Free Picks
The Cubs almost don't have anything to play for tonight, other than, perhaps, helping Arrieta win the National League Cy Young Award. But he might be on a short leash himself, and Coach Maddon might be tempted to rest some regulars. Bettors might be wise to check the lineups before getting down on this game.

That all being said, we like the value with Pittsburgh on this betting line, so we'll addthe Pirates to our list of free MLB picks for Sunday.

MLB Pick: Pirates +180 at 5Dimes.

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