Chicago came up with a nice comeback Tuesday night to take a 2-0 lead in this four-game NL Central series in Pittsburgh. Are the Cubbies worth backing with MLB picks on Wednesday night?
Cubs-Pirates Wednesday Betting Odds
As of early Wednesday morning the best line to be found on Pittsburgh with Vance Worley was the -113 offered at Pinnacle, while Chicago with Jason Hammel could be gotten at +107 at Heritage.
Also, most books were listing the total on tonight's game at 7.5, but there were a few sevens out there.
Game 3 Set-Up
Chicago took a 3-2 lead in the top of the sixth inning Tuesday night, fell down 8-5, but rallied for a run in the eighth and three in the ninth, two on a base hit from a hot Starlin Castro, and held on for an exciting 9-8 victory.
The Cubs won as +135 post-time underdogs on Tuesday's MLB betting odds, and the game cruised OVER its total of seven runs.
Chicago's late rally came against Pittsburgh closer Mark Melancon, who got touched for three runs in an inning of work for the second time in his last five appearances.
Chicago also won Monday's series opener 5-2, rapping out 14 hits, including a tie-breaker two-run double from rookie Kris Bryant in the top of the seventh inning, while getting a quality start from Jake Arrieta.
So the Cubbies, after losing last year's season series with Pittsburgh 14 games to five, have taken the first two meetings with the Pirates this season.
Worley is one-for-two on quality starts this season. Eleven days ago he got nicked for six runs through 6 1/3 innings in a 6-0 loss at Milwaukee, but last Friday he held those same Brewers to two runs through six innings of a 6-3 Pittsburgh victory.
Last season Worley started twice against the Cubs, giving up five earned runs and 10 hits through 11 2/3 innings. The Pirates won both those games, and both those games stayed UNDER the totals.
Hammel is 0-for-two on quality starts so far. Eleven days ago he gave up three runs and eight hits through six innings, and three runs in six innings is not a quality start in our book. Then last Friday he allowed four runs and seven hits through 6 1/3 innings of a 5-4 loss to San Diego. So both of his starts so far have played OVER the totals.
Last year Hammel started four times against Pittsburgh, going three-for-four on quality starts, allowing 10 earned runs and 22 hits through 25 2/3 innings. Chicago split those four games, while three of those four games stayed UNDER the totals.
In the Pen
The Chicago bullpen ranks 15th in the Majors with a 3.53 ERA, and is three-for-six on save opportunities.
The Pittsburgh bullpen ranks 24th with a 4.20 ERA, and is just two-for-five on save opps.
At the Bat
Chicago owns a .326 team OBP and a .395 slugging percentage against right-handed pitching so far this season.
Pittsburgh owns a .280 OBP and a .350 slugging percentage against righties.
Totals Betting Trends
Chicago is 6-2-2 on the totals over its last 10 games.
Pittsburgh is 5-2-2 on the totals over its last nine games.
Cubs-Pirates Free Pick
We'll call the pitching match-up a wash, which leads our attention when forming MLB picks to the sticks, where Chicago owns an edge, and then to the bullpens, where the Cubs also seem to hold a short advantage. And Chicago is playing with a little spark at the moment. We like the Cubbies to take Wednesday's game.
Free MLB Pick: Chicago +108 at Pinnacle