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Pirates vs. Cubs Odds, Picks, Predictions: Expect Bats To Handle Bryse Wilson, Mark Leiter Jr. (April 21)

Pirates vs. Cubs Odds, Picks, Predictions: Expect Bats To Handle Bryse Wilson, Mark Leiter Jr. (April 21) article feature image

Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images. Pictured: Seiya Suzuki and Patrick Wisdom

  • The Cubs and Pirates begin a series at Wrigley Field on Thursday night.
  • Both teams have struggling pitchers on the mound, so the total is likely the smart play.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick based on the odds.

Pirates vs. Cubs Odds

Pirates Odds +140
Cubs Odds -160
Over/Under 9 (-105 / -115)
Time 7:40 p.m. ET
Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The Cubs and Pirates have both found it hard to win ballgames of late, but that doesn’t mean they’re not doing some good things offensively.

In a dreadful pitching matchup, could the bats on both sides make some noise? Let’s take a look at this one.

Pirates Showing Signs Of Competence Offensively

The Pirates are playing rather poorly at the moment. While it’s never easy to score runs against the Brewers, Pittsburgh managed just five runs in a three-game sweep at the hands of its division rival. With just five wins to show for in 12 games, this one would certainly be nice.

That’s not to say it has been all bad for the Pirates this season. Their 93 wRC+ would classify them as around an average offense, and speaking of average, they have hit .244, which ranks 10th in the major leagues. Pitching is really where they’ve been let down; the staff has posted a 4.72 ERA to rank fifth-worst in the early going.

Bryse Wilson will attempt to improve on those numbers in his start on Thursday. He’ll also be looking to improve upon his own numbers. The former Braves prospect has allowed five earned runs over 8 1/3 innings in two starts, striking out four and walking four. His expected ERA is once again near the bottom of the league.

Though it’s early, an 8.03 xERA is a scary sight at any point, as is a 10.5% strikeout rate. Swings and misses would be welcomed.

Cubs Turn To Journeyman Leiter

If you want to talk more about bad pitching, look no further than Mark Leiter, Jr. The 31-year-old, making his 13th big-league start, allowed seven runs on five hits over 3 1/3 innings in his first start for the Chicago Cubs last week.

While that game came at Coors Field, it wasn’t as if the gopher ball did him in. No, Leiter allowed just one home run. It was the five hits and four walks that were the issue.

That has been the story of the right-hander’s career, entering this start with a 5.59 FIP and posting a career walk rate around 9%. He allows a lot of baserunners, and it doesn’t help matters that he averages two home runs allowed per nine innings.

That loss to the Rockies came in the middle of a dry spell the Cubs haven’t been able to snap out of. They’ve now lost five of eight and continue to search for answers on the rubber.

At the plate, Chicago has been a pleasant surprise with a 123 wRC+ to rank third in the league and a .263/.347/.427 slash line.

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Pirates-Cubs Pick

Wilson and Leiter are not good pitchers. That much is very clear when you look at their seasons thus far and their careers as a whole.

While this is a meeting of two teams which have really found it hard to win, you can at least say some good things about them offensively, and in a spot where neither pitcher should dominate and keep runners off base I think there is a high potential for runs.

There is nothing to fear here weather-wise with the wind expected to blow lightly from left to right and the sun expected to shine on a 62-degree evening in Chicago. Both offenses should have some fun out there.

Pick: Over 9 (-105)

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