NBA Picks: Pirates Will Take Advantage Of Cubs Snapped Winning Streak

Swinging Johnson

Monday, May 2, 2016 3:04 PM UTC

Monday, May. 2, 2016 3:04 PM UTC

Pirates will host the division and will lead the Cubs in the first game of a three-game set in the Steel City. Let’s review the MLB odds and look to cash our 11th consecutive winner.

Chicago Cubs (17-6, +6.5 units)
The first-place Cubs saw their four-game winning streak snapped last night in a 10 inning duel resulting in a 4-3 defeat at the hands of the Atlanta Braves. Those who backed the streaking Cubbies in their MLB picks were undoubtedly frustrated as Chicago rallied in the bottom of the ninth to knot the game at three apiece before the Braves scored a run on a Nick Markakis fly ball sending Daniel Castro across home plate for the go-ahead and eventual game winning run. The MLB odds makers installed the Cubs as -205 home favorites which made the loss quite costly for the chalk eaters.

For a team so rich in starting pitching a middle-of-the-rotation guy like Jason Hammel has outshone them all thus far. Hammel has been dazzling this season with a 3-0 mark to complement a micro 0.75 ERA and a 1.04WHIP. In his last outing the 33-year-old right-hander pitched six dominant innings allowing just three hits and no runs in a 9-0 drubbing of the Cincinnati Reds. Hammel is 5-4 when starting against the Pirates in his career with an ERA of 3.99 and a WHIP of 1.148. His team's record is 6-5 (+1.3 units) in his 11 career starts versus Pittsburgh.


Pittsburgh Pirates (15-10, +3.4 units)
The second place Pirates are doing their best to keep pace with the Cubs in the NL Central but were edged in the 11th inning last night by the score of 6-5 against the Reds. The loss halted the team’s six game winning streak as former starter turned reliever Ryan Vogelsong took the loss. The Pirates boast one of the league’s most potent offenses ranking 4th in runs scored, 7th in slugging percentage, 1st in on base percentage as well as team batting average.

Gerrit Cole (2-2, 2.78 ERA) will get the starting assignment tonight and hopes to continue his solid brand of pitching as the Pirates’ ace on the hill. In his last appearance Cole pitched six innings and allowed eight hits on four runs (two earned) in a 9-5 win over the Rockies in Colorado. The 25-year-old righty is 7-2 over his career when starting against the Cubs with an ERA of 3.23 and a WHIP of 1.125. His team's record is 8-2 (+6.0 units) in his starts against Chicago.


Betting Analysis
We have an intriguing matchup between two of the best the National League has to offer this season in Jason Hammel and Gerrit Cole. But the difference is that Cole is a burgeoning superstar while Jason Hammel seems to be pitching above his pay grade. Pitchers don’t get better at age 33 and Hammel has been a good guy to have in your rotation throughout his nomadic career but certainly not an ace or even a No. 2 guy.

In addition, the Pirates’ offense is off to a flying start while the Cubs team batting average is hovering just above .250 and ranked 13th in the big leagues. Certainly this Cubbies team can score as evidenced by their 139 runs on the season (2nd) but I like the Bucs in this spot because they have the better pitcher even though this young season’s stats won’t bear that out…yet.

I don’t believe home field will mean much because it hasn’t in their last 21 meetings at PNC Park. The Cubs are 10-11 versus the Pirates when the game is played in the Steel City and this one will make it 10-12 when the dust settles.

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MLB Pick: Pirates -118
Best Line Offered: at YouWager
2016 MLB Record (17-7, +10.12 units)

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