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Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs odds, picks and best bets

Skip Snow
Sportsbook Wire

The Pittsburgh Pirates (2-5) continue what is a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs (5-2) as the NL Central foes tangle again Saturday night at 8:15 p.m. ET at Wrigley Field. We analyze the Pirates-Cubs betting odds and lines, with MLB picks and best bets.

Pirates at Cubs: Projected starting pitchers

RHP Mitch Keller vs. RHP Tyler Chatwood

Keller owns a 6.62 ERA over 12 career starts. The sophomore righty fanned 65 batters in 48 frames last season, and his 2019 campaign was muddied by a high average on balls in play and on at-bats with runners in scoring position.

  • Keller was shaky against Chicago last season with a 1.197 OPS against.
  • The 24-year-old Pirates pitcher walked three and punched out two, while allowing one run, in a five-frame season debut against the St. Louis Cardinals July 26.

Chatwood owns a 4.36 career ERA. He notched a 3.76 figure in a swingman role (33 relief appearances, five starts) a year ago. The 30-year-old right-hander is making his second start of the 2020 season. He struck out eight while allowing just one run in a six-inning stint against the Milwaukee Brewers July 26.

  • Current Pirates batters own a strikeout-heavy .627 OPS against Chatwood. He allowed one run over 8 IP against Pittsburgh in 2019.
  • Chatwood induces a high rate of ground balls (always a good thing at Wrigley), and the Pirates profile as a team prone to dips in production against such pitchers.

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Pirates at Cubs: Key injuries

( List of injuries around the league)

Pirates

  • RP Kyle Crick (shoulder) out
  • RP Clay Holmes (forearm) out
  • RP Keone Kela (COVID-19) out
  • SS JT Riddle (abdominal) out

Cubs

  • RP Brad Wieck (hamstring) out

Pirates at Cubs: Odds, lines, picks and betting tips

MLB odds courtesy of BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports for a full list. Odds last updated at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Moneyline (ML)

Chicago won Friday's series opener 6-3. The Cubs have now won four of their last five, and they're getting it done with the bats. Chicago has scored six-plus runs in each of those last five contests.

Look for Chatwood and the Cubs to prevail again on Saturday. Given the injuries to a significant amount of the Pirates bullpen personnel, the CHICAGO -175 tag makes for a workable price.

New to sports betting? A winning $10 bet on the Cubs pays out a profit of $5.70.

Run line/Against the spread (ATS)

PASS on the run line of Cubs -1.5 (+110) in favor of the safer moneyline play.

Over/Under (O/U)

An early weather report calls for evening temperatures in the low-to-mid-70s and a light breeze blowing in - off Lake Michigan and in from center field. Add in the pitching skill levels out-pacing surface stats and the fact the Cubs' recent hitting is fueled in part by a generous average on balls in play, and it all spells a lean toward the UNDER 9 (-110).

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Gannett may earn revenue from audience referrals to betting services. Newsrooms are independent of this relationship and there is no influence on news coverage.

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