Chicago Cubs Odds
This is a series the Chicago Cubs need to win, although a 3-4 mark to open a 10-game road trip leaves cause for concern entering the opener at Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Pitching has been the Cubs’ problem of late; they’ve allowed at least six runs in each of their past seven losses.
Chicago will lean on Jon Lester, who after a crisp start to the season has struggled in his past three outings. Lester (2-1, 4.55 ERA) gave up a combined 13 runs in starts against Milwaukee and the Chicago White Sox before permitting just one in five innings Wednesday night at Detroit. But he also allowed eight hits to the Tigers, so he had to work around a lot of traffic.
Pittsburgh Pirates Odds
The Pittsburgh Pirates are enjoying their first decent stretch of baseball this year, winning six of the past 11 games after stumbling to a 4-17 start.
Their Tuesday starter against the Cubs will be hard-throwing right-hander Chad Kuhl, who ceded just one run in six innings Thursday in a no-decision as Pittsburgh bagged a 4-3 win in the opener of a doubleheader at St. Louis.
Kuhl (1-1, 2.52 ERA) has yielded just two runs in 11 total innings over his last two starts despite walking seven while fanning just two. It’s a small sample size, but Kuhl’s WHIP of 1.08 is on pace to be the lowest of his career by far. He’s never finished a year with a WHIP lower than 1.32.
Field Level Media Prediction for Cubs vs. Pirates for September 1, 2020
While Lester has allowed plenty of baserunners the past three games, he usually pitches well against the Pirates. He is 12-6 with a 3.10 ERA in 24 career starts against Pittsburgh, including a win on Aug. 2. This seems like a good spot for him and the Cubs.
FLM Prediction: Cubs (-150) 7, Pirates 4
Field Level Media‘s Best Bet for Cubs vs. Pirates on September 1, 2020
As a great philosopher once said, “When in doubt, hammer the over.” Think about that in this game, even with capable starting pitchers. Both teams have bullpen issues, and late in the game, there is a good chance someone will post a crooked number that takes this one into over territory — and maybe takes you to the pay window.
FLM Best Bet: Teams over 9 R