Handicapper Picks Road Dogs in Cubs vs. Pirates

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, June 11, 2014 12:48 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jun. 11, 2014 12:48 PM UTC

The Chicago Cubs are playing their best baseball of the 2014 season, which makes them a dangerous road underdog against the Pittsburgh Pirates Wednesday night. Let’s take a closer look at the MLB betting lines for this National League Central affair.

Starting to put things together
Chicago occupies the basement in the NL Central standings, but it has won seven of its last ten games, including a 7-3 victory over Pittsburgh as +158 road underdogs Tuesday. The Cubs are being led offensively by first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who is hitting .389 with five home runs, and 12 RBIs in his last 10 contests. Over the last two-plus seasons, the franchise is 17-30 as road underdogs of +100 to +125, with the 'under' going 25-19-3 in that situation.

Reigning NL MVP
Pittsburgh is just a game over .500 in the early going this month, which is a bit surprising due to outfielder Andrew McCutchen batting .389 with five home runs, and 10 RBIs in nine games over that span. It’s important to point out that McCutchen is three for fifteen with a home run in his career against tonight’s opposing starter. MLB handicappers will find that the Pittsburgh Pirates is 8-9 at home with a money line of -100 to -125, with the OVER going 10-5-2 in those 17 opportunities.

Cubs starting pitcher Jason Hammel (6-3, 2.53 ERA) didn’t factor into the decision of a 5-3 home victory over the Miami Marlins last Friday—scattering six hits over seven shutout innings.The right-hander is 3-3 with a 2.76 ERA in seven road appearances, with opposing hitters batting just .180 against him.Hammel has compiled a 4-0 record and 2.73 ERA in his last four starts versus Pirates.

Pirates starting pitcher Brandon Cumpton (1-2, 6.51 ERA) earned a 15-5 home victory over the Milwaukee Brewers last time out, as he allowed three runs, and eight hits over 5.1 innings of work. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 3.65 ERA in two home outings—not surrendering a home run in 12.1 combined frames. Cumpton has never faced the Cubs, while he led the International League with a 1.35 ERA at the time of his promotion on May 26.

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Cubs as one of their MLB picks, as the Pirates are 9-19 in their last 28 games versus division rivals.

Free MLB Pick: Bet on the Chicago Cubs


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