MLB Baseball Betting: Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates

MLB Baseball Betting:  Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates

At some point you expect the Chicago Cubs to start ‘taking it easy’ with the playoffs looming. They’ve already clinched the best record in the league which will give them home field advantage throughout the NL playoffs. Even though they have no tangible goals left for the regular season they’ve remained competitive winning 6 of 10 (pending the outcome of Monday’s action). The Pittsburgh Pirates have lost two straight and despite winning 6 of 10 they’re on the verge of being out of playoff contention. They’re 4.5 games out of the second wild cards spot held by the San Francisco Giants and 5.5 games behind the New York Mets in the top wild card spot. Between the Pirates and the wildcard are the St. Louis Cardinals (1/2 game out of the second wild card spot) and the Miami Marlins (also 4.5 games out).

The Pirates don’t really deserve to make the playoffs. They’ve slumped badly at various points this season and at other times have looked–in the words of the local media–like they just don’t care. Before their most recent losing streak they’d won 8 of 11 but they ‘dug their hole’ early on. Ryan Vogelsong will get the start for San Francisco and he’s had a mediocre season at best. For the year, he’s got a 4.84 ERA overall with a 1.353 WHIP. At home, he’s got a 4.33 ERA with a 1.185 WHIP and in his last three starts he’s got a 8.52 ERA with a 1.815 WHIP. The Pirates have lost 8 of his 12 starts this season including 5 of 6 at home and 2 of his last 3. He could be in for a tough night with the way that the Cubs brutalize right handed pitching–5 runs per game and a record of 71-39 this season.

The Cubs will start right hander John Lackey who has been ‘good but not great’ for most of the year. For the season, Lackey has a 3.39 ERA and a 1.042 WHIP. His road performance has slipped to a 4.54 ERA and a 1.118 WHIP. In his last three starts he’s got a 3.60 ERA and a 1.200 WHIP. The Cubs are 16-12 overall when Lackey starts this season including 6-6 on the road and winning two of his last 3. He could have a good day against a Pirates team that has been horrible at home (37-40 -15.8 units) and against right handed pitching (57-69 -24.6 units).