The Chicago Cubs (25-36) and Pittsburgh Pirates (30-33) will continue a National League Central series Tuesday night at PNC Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET
Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
Chicago has dropped two consecutive games, including a 6-2 setback to Pittsburgh as +136 road underdogs Monday, while going OVER the betting total for the fifth time in six contests. The Cubs are going to have a difficult time offensively in this affair, considering Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo are a combined 4 for 36 with 12 strikeouts against tonight’s opposing starter. Chicago is a surprising 7-5 versus left-handed starters, with no clear edge in terms of the betting total (6-6 Over/Under).
Cubs starting pitcher Travis Wood (5-5, 5.04 ERA) didn’t earn a decision in a 7-4 home victory over the New York Mets in his last effort, as he allowed two runs and four hits over five frames. The left-hander is 2-4 with a 8.04 ERA in six road appearances, with opposing hitters batting .326 against him. Wood has compiled a 4-1 record and 1.91 ERA in his career when taking the mound at this ballpark.
Pittsburgh snapped a two-game losing streak with last night’s victory, while going OVER the betting total for the sixth time in 10 affairs. Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen is hitting .390 in his last 15 home games, but he’s gone just 2-for-20 in his career when facing Wood. The franchise has won five of the first seven meetings between these two division rivals. Pittsburgh is 4-2 as home favorites of -150 to -175 during the 2014 campaign.
Pirates starting pitcher Francisco Liriano (1-6, 4.54 ERA) has dropped three of his last four efforts, including a 3-2 setback on the road to the San Diego Padres last Monday. The left-hander is 0-3 with a 5.97 ERA in seven home games—issuing 20 walks and striking out 35 batters in 37.2 combined frames. It’s important to point out that Liriano’s 2.08 run support average is the lowest in baseball.
Sports bettors will likely back the Pirates due to their 9-3 record in the last 12 meetings in this series.