Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates Pick 8/18/19

by | Aug 18, 2019 | mlb

Chicago Cubs (65-58) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (51-71), 8/18/19 Time: 7:10 pm ET Sunday, Aug. 18 Where: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA Listed Pitchers: Luis Quintana (10-7, 4.11 ERA) vs. Mitch Keller (1-1, 7.94) TV: ESPN

Moneyline: Cubs -145/Pirates +135 (5Dimes) Over/Under: 9.5


After splitting the first two games of this series, the Cubs and Pirates hook up for a rubber match Sunday evening in Pittsburgh. The Cubbies are contending for a National League playoff spot, while the Pirates are just playing out the string. Consequently, Chicago is favored on the road. How are we playing this game with our free MLB pick?


MLB Betting Odds


Sunday’s MLB betting odds opened Chicago and Quintana at around -155 over Pittsburgh and Keller, with an over/under of 9.5 runs. Early betting action then dropped the Cubs to -145.


Chicago could also be found “getting” around +100 giving the run and a half on the MLB run line.


Cubs vs. Pirates Set-Up


Pittsburgh took the opener of this three-game series Friday night 3-2, but Chicago won Saturday’s game 2-0. The Pirates won as +115 home dogs on the MLB betting line Friday night while the Cubs got some cash back at -145 Saturday night.


Saturday’s game was 0-0 late, but Chicago scored one run in the seventh inning and one in the eighth for the W.


Saturday’s win snapped a four-game losing streak for Chicago.


With Saturday’s loss, Pittsburgh is 3-2 over its last five games.


At 65-58 overall the Cubs are tied with St. Louis for first place in the NL Central, one game ahead of third-place Milwaukee. Chicago also owns the No. 2 spot in the National League wild-card race, one game ahead of the Brewers and Philadelphia.


The Pirates, meanwhile, are 13.5 games out in the divisional race and 13.5 games out in that NL wild-card race. So, sadly, they’re just playing out the string here on another lost season, after a somewhat promising start.


We didn’t think Pittsburgh was that bad, but they’re convincing us otherwise.


The Cubs lead the season series with the Pirates seven games to five.

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Sunday’s Starting Arms


Rookie righty Keller is 0/4 on quality starts this season, 0/1 since returning to the Majors following a return stint in the Minors. Monday he held the Angels to two runs – one earned – and five hits through five innings of a 10-2 Pittsburgh victory. Earlier this summer Keller gave up 14 ER through 12 innings, covering three starts, necessitating his demotion.


The Pirates are 1-3 with Keller this year, 1-0 since his return to the Bigs.


This start will be Keller’s first-ever against the Cubs.


Lefty Quintana, by our strict standards, is 12/23 on quality starts this year, working on a run of three in a row. Tuesday he limited the Phillies to two runs – one earned – and five hits through six innings, with 14 strikeouts, in a game Chicago eventually lost 4-2. And over his last three starts, he’s allowed just four ER and 14 hits through 19 innings.


The Cubs are 13-10 with Quintana this year, 7-1 over his last eight starts.


Over three starts already this season against Pittsburgh Quintana allowed six runs and 16 hits through 20 innings. Chicago won all three of those games.


Sunday’s Batting Splits


Chicago is batting .256/.333/.453 against right-handed pitching this season. But the Cubs have also been held to two runs or less six times in their last eight games.


Pittsburgh is batting .246/.290/.387 against left-handed pitching this season. Numbers like those are why we rank this unit among the bottom half-dozen lineups in Baseball in this split.


The Bullpens


The Cubs bullpen owns a 4.16 ERA this season and a 1.35 WHIP while allowing a .742 OPS.


The Pirates pen owns a 4.73 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP while allowing a .777 OPS.


Totals Report

  •  Unders are 62-56 in Cubs games this season.
  •  Overs are a lopsided 70-48 in Pirates games this season.
  •  Overs are 36-19 in games played at PNC Park this season.
  •  Overs are a combined 14-11 with Keller and Quintana this season.
  •  Totals are split 6-6 in Cubs-Pirates games this season.

Free MLB Pick

Chicago gets all three of our major Baseball handicapping check-marks here, so our pick is rather obvious. But we also like taking chances, so we’ll chase the better price and play the Cubs against the MLB run line.

Take the Cubs -1.5 runs