Cubs On A Roll To Sweep Pirates, As They Gear Up For Crucial Postseason

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 4:02 PM UTC

Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016 4:02 PM UTC

The Cubs are looking to sweep the Pirates in the finale of this three-game set at Wrigley. Let’s peruse the MLB odds in this NL Central tilt and continue to cash those tickets.

Swinger’s MLB Record: 69-43, +24.40 units
Yesterday we caught a break which is what happens when you endure a healthy share of bad beats throughout what is the long grind of the Major League Baseball season. Cole Hamels was roughed up by the Mariners but the hard-hitting Texas lineup outpaced Seattle en route to an 8-7 victory. The bottom line is when your MLB picks cash, you don't complain about sweating it out. Show me a guy who lays all heavy chalk all year long but comes out ahead and the word “square” will not permeate my lips.

And speaking of the narrow 8-7 victory, it is indeed why I eschew run lines. Justin Pauls (@Justin_Pauls) tweeted to me about the subject of run lines. I responded that I normally stay far away. I would rather pay the heavy juice when my chalky play loses outright than have my side win by a run yet lose the bet because of the - 1 ½ runs I laid. It is indeed a philosophical debate when betting baseball but I say the great thing about money lines is all you need is your side to win, with no point spread involved. Let’s take a peek at the MLB odds and the matchup between the Pirates and the Cubs at Wrigley tonight.


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Cubs Tap Hammel to Start
The recently acquired (via Seattle) Mike Montgomery was originally slated to start the final game of this three-game series with Pittsburgh but manager Joe Maddon decided to get Jason Hammel (13-7, 3.21, 1.14) back on the bump a day early after a 39-pitch effort on Saturday saw him chased after only two-plus innings in which he allowed three runs on five hits in a 3-2 loss to the Dodgers.

The 33-year-old veteran has gotten rocked in his last two appearances beginning on August 21st when he was torched for 10 runs (six earned) on 10 hits in only three-plus innings resulting in an 11-4 loss to the Rockies at Coors Field. Therefore, in his last two outings, he has pitched barely six innings in total and will be pitching on four days rest in this one.


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Betting Analysis
Prior to Hammel’s recent bout with the blues, the 6’6” right-hander was racking up stellar performances and notches in the win column. He had a stretch of six consecutive wins under his belt and allowed just four earned runs over those appearances in which he looked positively dominant.

Hammel is often a lights-out kind of pitcher but when he goes bad the results are downright ugly. Two starts before that string of six consecutive sparkling performances he was lit up by the Mets to the tune of 10 runs on nine hits in a 10-2 loss. But his past two rocky starts and the one on July 1st against the Mets have one thing in common – they were all on the road and away from the friendly confines of Wrigley Field.

Today he will return to the venue where he boasts an 8-1 mark with a 1.79 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. Hammel loves the home cookin’ and if there is any place to right the ship it would be in front of the Chicago faithful at Wrigley. Hammel is 7-4 when starting against the Pirates with an ERA of 3.74 and a WHIP of 1.18. His team's record is 8-5 (+3.6 units) in these starts.

Ryan Vogelsong (2-2, 2.25, 1.08) is set to start for the Pirates. Vogelsong is 5-7 when starting against the Cubs with an ERA of 5.92 and a WHIP of 1.65. His team's record is 5-7 (-1.8 units) in these starts and has been pitching well since his return from the DL on August 4th after suffering facial fractures from a pitch on May 23rd from Rockies starter Jordan Lyles.

Here we have a premier pitcher with something to prove backed by one of the very best offenses in the league versus a 39-year-old veteran in Vogelsong with an offense that fell silent yesterday in their 3-2 setback to the Cubs. Let’s look for Chicago to sweep the Pirates right out of the Windy City tonight.


Free MLB Pick: Cubs -191 
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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