The playoffs continue as we turn to the NL & Cubs taking on the Pirates in a crucial wild card game. With the Cubs favored in this spot I like the value on the Pirates today with our MLB pick.
Across the board right now MLB odds makers have the Cubs at around a -140 favorite, putting some good plus money on the Pirates. At Bovada sports book you can get the Pirates at +124. For my MLB pick of the day I'm going to take Pittsburgh at home to pull the upset.
Cy Young candidate Jake Arrieta takes the mound for the Cubs and comes in with a 1.77 ERA, 0.86 whip, 236 strikeouts, and a 22-6 record. Surprisingly his numbers are even better on the road with a 1.60 ERA and batters hitting just .186 against him. His numbers have been absolutely ridiculous and in his last 10 starts giving up a total of four earned runs, just sick. What I do like about this matchup is the fact is that it is now the playoffs and things tend to change just a little bit in this type of atmosphere. The Pirates have seen Arrieta five times already this season which should be advantageous to them. At the end of the day this is about value and I think the Cubs are not a lock to score a lot of runs today off of Pirates starter Gerrit Cole.
This season Chicago was rank 16th in runs scored per game at 4.25, 17th in OPS at .719, and 29th in batting average hitting .244 as a team. For average they actually hit better on the road but for the most part they have been a middle tiered offense this season. They have done a little bit of damage against today's starter for the Pirates Gerrit Cole, but not enough that diminishes the value of going against them.
Cole takes the mound for the Pirates and comes in with a 2.60 ERA, 1.09 whip, 202 strikeouts, and a 19-8 record. The ace of Pittsburgh has had an amazing year and should be pumped up to pitch at home against the Cubs. So far this season he has faced the Cubs four times and has been decent allowing just zero earned runs, two earned runs, three earned runs, and one earned run. He has been pretty much even keel whether he has been at home or on the road but there is nothing that jumps out at me that says the Cubs are going to do much against him today.
Offensively Pittsburgh ranks 11th in runs scored per game at 4.30, 18th in OPS at .719, and ninth in batting average hitting .260 as a team. They have been solid both on the road and at home this season but they have a tall order today facing one of the top pitchers in major league baseball. Even with their struggles for most of the season against Arrieta I like for them to put up a lot of quality at-bats today and scrape together a couple runs. That might be all they need to win this game.
For one of your MLB picks I suggest taking the value on the Pirates. With Houston yesterday locking up the American League spot it will be tempting to look for a repeat win from the visitor in this situation. Although it is not easy to against one of the best pitchers in baseball I still like the value on Pittsburgh to find a way to win this game at home.
MLB Pick: Pirates +124 at Bovada