Chicago looks like they have a great chance to extend their current winning streak heading into the May 9th Pirates at Cubs pick. The North Siders have rattled off five victories in a row, and are shooting for their 2nd consecutive series sweep when they host Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon.
The Cubs are a -156 favorite with Kyle Hendricks (2-3, 6.07 ERA) on the hill. The right-hander’s ERA is inflated because of two horrible outings vs. the Braves this season. The Bucs counter with Tyler Anderson (2-3, 3.24 ERA), who has had four great starts in a row allowing just 6ER in his last 23.1 IP.
Pirates In a Skid
Pittsburgh has lost 8 of their last 9 games, falling into last place in the Central. The Pirates big downfall lately has been their offense, who have put up just 8 runs total in their last six games.
Colin Moran and Adam Frazier have both been hitting well, posting a .350+ average over the past week. Moran is questionable after leaving Saturday’s game with a groin injury, and Todd Frazier went 0-4 in his place. Adam Frazier has hit Hendricks well though, going 11-23 (.478) in his career vs. the Cubs starter.
Anderson gives the Pirates at least a shot as +146 underdogs, considering he’s allowed 1, 2, 1, and 2 ER over his last four starts. The left-hander has had his share of struggles vs. the Cubs though, posting a 4.45 ERA in five career starts. That includes 3ER over 5.0 IP in Anderson’s first start this season, a 5-1 Chicago win.
Can Chicago Complete Another Sweep?
The Cubs seem to have instantly gotten on a roll, sweeping the Dodgers and taking the first two of this series vs. the Pirates. Things look good for a 6th straight win, as Chicago is 7-1 in their last 8 vs. LH starters. The offense is killing it vs. Southpaws, as the Cubs have won 7-1 against Clayton Kershaw, scored 6 in a loss to Wade Miley, and tallied a 15-2 win over Brett Anderson their last three vs. lefties.
Chicago’s average, OBP, SLG, and OPS is all better vs. left-handers. Kris Bryant has tore up Anderson in his career, going 6-14 with 3HR. Jake Marisnick has 2HR in his last 7AB, and is also 3-4 in his career vs. the Pittsburgh starter. Anthony Rizzo and Javy Baez are also a combined 10-29 with 2 HR and 7 runs scored vs. Anderson so things look good for Chicago in the May 9th Pirates at Cubs game.
Chicago is a solid play on Sunday for the simple fact that Hendricks isn’t pitching against the Braves. The right-hander has allowed 14ER in 7.2 IP to Atlanta this season, and 6ER in 22IP against all other teams. The Pirates beat Hendricks 5-3 on opening day, but that was with temps at 36 degrees on April 1st. It’s going to be another chilly day in Chicago (50 degrees), but with a 14 MPH blowing in.
Free May 9th Pirates at Cubs
The huge wind blowing in does hurt Chicago’s offense that is 12th in the majors in HRs. That being said, there’s nothing to like about Pittsburgh here, especially with Moran possibly missing the game. Anderson has pitched well this year for the Bucs, but Sunday is an ultimate test as the Cubs have hit him well in the past.
Cubs 6 – Pirates 3
Free Pick: Cubs -1.5 (+145)