Cubs to Open Home Slate in Style Tuesday vs. Pirates

cubs chatwood

Willie Bee

Sunday, April 8, 2018 3:49 PM GMT

Sunday, Apr. 8, 2018 3:49 PM GMT

Wrigley Field is finally the site for a game this year as Chicago hosts Pittsburgh on Tuesday afternoon following Monday's snow-out. Will the Cubs capitalize on being home after a long season-opening road trip?

Pirates (7-2 SU, 7-2 O/U) vs. Cubs (5-4 SU, 4-5 O/U)Free MLB Pick: Cubs -166Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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The 30th and final team to celebrate its home opener is the Chicago Cubs, which makes it a little more special to both the average fan and John Q. Public on the wagering side. For myself, it’s nothing different than any other game over a 6- to 7-month period; the goal is to come up with a winning baseball pick.

After 12 days and nine games on the road, the Cubbies are finally home Tuesday -- it was to be Monday but it was snowed out -- to treat the Wrigley faithful to a matinee special (2:20 p.m. ET). A newcomer to Chicago has the mound as Tyler Chatwood (0-1, 1.50) goes for the home team, and the Pirates countering with Ivan Nova (0-1, 6.10). The Cubs are favored on the MLB odds board.

Chatwood Makes Cubs Home Debut on Extra Rest

Pittsburgh split Nova’s first two assignments, winning in Detroit on Opening Day before falling at home to Minnesota on Wednesday. The 32-year-old Dominican was decent for the first five innings of that matchup before running into trouble in the sixth. Nova split his two starts at Wrigley last year, allowing six runs in 9.2 innings, and Ian Happ has taken him deep twice in eight at bats.

I watched Chatwood’s Cubs debut last week in Cincinnati. Although he took a tough 1-0 loss as Chicago's sticks fell silent, it really wasn’t that impressive of an effort. Chatwood threw only 49 of his 92 pitches for strikes, and it didn’t even seem that frequent. Plus, he was slower than heck, and that drives me crazy. Chicago’s early road slate included an off day, a rainout plus Joe Maddon pushing Chatwood back a day, so he has had plenty of rest. He worked six 1-run innings at Wrigley last year for Colorado, and seven scoreless frames in 2016, in his only two starts on the North Side.

Rivalry Trends, Weather Concerns & A Free Pick

At the end of this set, the Cubs and Pirates will have played each other 2,499 times, assuming no postponements the next few days. Pittsburgh owns a modest 1,270-1,208 lead in the rivalry, with 18 other games ending in ties, but Chicago has won each of the last three season series (35-21) after taking 10 of 19 matchups last season. The 10 games at Wrigley Field last year split the totals, which ranged from 7½-9½.

Go with the Cubs behind a boisterous North Side crowd.

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*Need a snow cone emoji pic.twitter.com/1qb0f9yE8f

— Pirates (@Pirates) April 8, 2018
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