Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Pick 4/10/21

by | Apr 10, 2021 | mlb

Chicago Cubs (4-3) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (1-6)
When: 6:35 p.m., Saturday, April 10
Where: PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Moneyline: CHC -161/PIT +140 (Best Bonus >>>)
Runline: Cubs -1.5/Pirates +1.5
Total: 8

Starting Pitchers: Zach Davies (1-0, 3.18 ERA, 1.24 WHIP) vs. Mitch Keller (0-1, 9.00 ERA, 2.00 WHIP)

Sunken Ship

Pittsburgh isn’t even pretending to care about its record this year, but the Pirates certainly care about getting their young players on the field, and losing Ke’Bryan Hayes to a wrist strain wasn’t what anybody in black and gold had in mind for this season. Without Hayes, the rest of the Pirates aren’t hitting, and the Pirates’ batting average and run totals show it. Pittsburgh’s hitting a weak .202, and the Pirates have scored just 19 runs in seven games. Of the four teams who have scored fewer than 19 runs, two of them had a series canceled by COVID and have combined to play just seven games on the year, leaving Cleveland and Atlanta as the only teams with fewer runs across the plate than the Bucs.

Right now, this team can neither manufacture runs nor score quickly. Colin Moran’s the only Pirate regular hitting above .250, and despite playing their first seven games in three of the most hitter-friendly parks in the majors (Wrigley Field, Great American Ball Park, and PNC Park), the Pirates have sent just seven baseballs to the stands.

Punchless in Chicago

But the Pirates look like the 1927 Yankees compared to what’s happening on the North Side of Chicago. The Cubs have one hitter above the Mendoza Line in Kris Bryant; otherwise, six regulars plus the pitcher’s spot are hitting .190 or worse, good for an MLB-worst .157 average.

If you’ve been backing the under in Cubs games, you’ve been a very happy bettor, as the under has cashed in six straight for the North Siders. The Cubs’ past three games have all seen six runs or less, which says that the Chicago pitchers are getting the job done while the hitters have done absolutely nothing. That certainly ap-plies in the case of Davies, who held the Pirates scoreless for five innings before yielding in the sixth and turn-ing the game over to the bullpen in his first start of the year.

Pitching Rematch

It doesn’t often happen in the regular season, but we’ve got a rematch between the same two pitchers who last faced each other in their previous start, as these teams met each other in Chicago on April 4. If things are going to be any different for Pittsburgh this time around, Keller is going to have to show better command of the strike zone. Last year, he didn’t come close to doing that, as he averaged a walk an inning in his final three starts of 2020. It was the same story against the Cubs, as Keller walked four in just three innings before Derek Shelton decided he’d seen enough and handed the game to the Pirate bullpen.

On the other hand, Davies was in control for five innings but had to watch the bullpen nearly give the game away in the eighth until Gregor Polanco hit into a double play to end the threat. Pittsburgh had the better of the game for the second half and appears to have the better bullpen, so it might be a good idea to take the Cubs for the first five innings. There’s no sign that Keller can find the plate consistently, and the Cubs have already shown once this year that they are willing to wait him out.

Betting Trends

  • The Cubs are 4-1 in their past five games as a favorite.
  • The Cubs are 3-7 in their past ten games overall.
  • The Pirates are 20-49 in their past 69 games.
  • The Pirates are 7-15 in their past 22 following an off day.
  • The under is 7-1 in the Cubs’ past eight as a road favorite.
  • The under is 6-2-1 in the Pirates’ past nine following a loss.
  • The under is 6-0 in the Cubs’ past six trips to Pittsburgh.
  • The Pirates have won four of five meetings at PNC Park.

Weather Report

The winds will be coming in from downtown Pittsburgh over the Allegheny River, blowing southeast at 13 miles per hour from right field. Temperatures will be very pleasant, hovering at 77 degrees at first pitch.

Dan’s pick

The bet I want most here is the under, as neither of these teams is hitting the ball well, and Davies seems to be adjusting well to his new situation with the Cubs. As for the game itself, I’m a lot more comfortable betting the Cubs in the first five innings simply because I don’t trust the Chicago bullpen in any way, shape, or form. However, that said, I’m more comfortable trusting the Cubs’ bullpen than I am trusting Keller and the punch-less Pirates, as I expect Keller to put a fair amount of Cubs on base through the free pass. I’ll take the Cubs here.

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