Rained out on Monday, the Cubs and Pirates are back on the MLB betting card for Tuesday and it's Chicago playing the role of a small road favorite in Pittsburgh.
What could have been a solid pitching duel in Monday's series opener between the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates was washed out by two extended rain delays. Tied at one apiece midway through the fourth inning when it was eventually called, MLB didn't proclaim a make-up date and the rest of the series will continue as scheduled.
For those looking ahead, there's a good chance the game will be made up on Monday, September 14. The clubs dry off and go right back to work at 7:05 PM (ET) this evening, the first pitchers to climb the bump at PNC Park being Jake Arrieta and JA Happ, who is making his Pirates debut. Chicago is going off around -125 on the morning moneyline with a 7 run total on the baseball betting board.
Can Happ Rediscover Early-Season Form?
Arrieta helped the Cubs to five wins in his six July assignments, the most recent of which came on the road in Milwaukee where the for TCU standout allowed two runs in six innings of Chicago's 5-2 decision. The Missouri native has served up only one home run ball in his last eight trips to the bump, a span of nearly 59 innings, and boasts a 58/13 strikeout to walk ratio in that stretch.
His two looks at the Pirates in 2015 have been solid efforts, the Cubs splitting the tilts with Arrieta working seven innings and allowing just one run in each game. He bested AJ Burnett and the Bucs o this field in April with another 7-IP, 1-Run showing.
Pittsburgh acquired Happ in a late deal with Seattle this past week, making the deal when they knew Burnett was headed to the DL with a tender elbow. The lefty got off to a decent start with the Mariners this year, the M's winning six of his first 10 assignments before things started falling apart in mid-June. Seattle only emerged victorious in one of his last 10 starts, Happ's ERA up over 6½ in that span. Tuesday will be his fifth career outing vs. the Cubs, his teams winning three of the previous four despite his 5.57 ERA in those matchups.
Mother Nature, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick
The good news is as wet as it was on Monday, it's going to be that dry and sunny today. The forecast calls for clear skies in the Three Rivers area, afternoon temps only crawling into the low-to-mid 80s and lower humidity. Look for the thermometer to be on 80ºF at first pitch with a light westerly breeze (out to left).
Neither lineup had much going in the little baseball played last night, but I do think the Cubs will have enough tonight to take care of the Pirates. My free MLB pick is on Chicago.
My MLB Pick: Cubs -125 at Bookmaker