Is the April 11th Cubs at Pirates matchup set to be a low scoring one? The Chicago offense will do their part to make this betting total go under 8.5, as they have been held to two runs or less in three of the last four games. David Ross’ team had been getting some good pitching at least, but that failed in an 8-2 Pirates win on Saturday.
Pittsburgh will shoot for the series win to return the favor of Chicago taking two of three in the season opening set. Both of the Pirates (2-6) wins this year have come against the Cubs (4-4) giving the home team value at +125. The public likes the Bucs’ too, as that line is down from a +143 open.
Can Chicago Get Offense Going?
The ‘under’ has hit in 6 of 8 Cubs games this season, partly due to quality pitching but mainly because of an atrocious offense. After a week-and-a-half of play in the 2021 campaign, Chicago ranks last in team BA (.168) and is 2nd worst in runs/game (3.13).
Jake Marisnick is the only Cubs batter hitting above .260 on this young season. Kris Bryant has shown signs of heating up heading into the April 11th Cubs at Pirates game, going 3-7 so far in the series with all three hits going for extra bases. Javier Baez also had a HR in Thursday’s 4-2 Cubs win but for the most part offense has been few and far between for Chicago.
Chicago starter Trevor Williams (1-0, 3.00 ERA) shouldn’t expect a ton of run support heading into a matchup with his former team. The right-hander was 21-37 in five seasons with the Pirates, but started off his Cubs career on the bright side with 6IP of 2-hit ball vs. Milwaukee last week. Williams has faced only one batter on the current Pittsburgh roster.
Pirates Like This Matchup
Pittsburgh was swept by Cincinnati last week, being outscored in three games 30-8. That’s indicative of the type of team the Pirates may have this season – except when they play the Cubs. Pittsburgh has taken 4 of the last 5 between these two at PNC Park.
The Pirates can take yet another one from Chicago if they get the type of offensive performance they had on Saturday afternoon. Pittsburgh knocked out Cubs starter Zach Davies are just 1.2 IP, scoring 7 runs in the 2nd inning (one less than they had the whole series vs. the Reds).
JT Brubaker (0-0, 2.25 ERA) will try to keep Cubs batters at bay again on Sunday, trying to build off a 3-hitter over 4IP in his first start of the year vs. Cincinnati. Brubaker was 1-3 with a 4.94 ERA in his rookie season last year, that lone win of course coming against Chicago. The right hander had 3.0 IP of 1-hit, 0ER ball in relief vs. the Cubs last August, and went 5.0 IP allowing just 1ER to get the win in September.
Free April 11th Cubs at Pirates Pick
Chicago has a collective .135 average against Brubaker, and the Pirates have very little experience against their former teammate Williams. There’s a chance Pittsburgh coaches know what Williams’ game plan will be since he spent five years there, but ultimately this should be another low scoring affair.
Pirates 5 – Cubs 2
Free Pick: Under 8.5