In the first game of a three-game series, the Pittsburgh Pirates are at the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday. This is a big series for the home team, but Pittsburgh comes to Chicago intending to spoil the party.
The road Pittsburgh Pirates are 70-80 and just games away from being eliminated from the postseason picture. The Pirates are 32-40 on the road this season, and fourth place in the National League Central.
For the home team, they are seeking to snap their five-game losing streak. Overall, the Cubs have lost 8 out of 10 games and are now 78-72. While the Cubs are 6.5 games out of first place in the division, they are also tied for the final wildcard spot with the Miami Marlins and only ½ game ahead of Cincinnati.
The Chicago Cubs come into this game as favorites. The Cubs are listed at -164.
Cubs Need to Find Sticks Quickly
During the Cubs’ five-game losing streak, they are scoring less than four runs per game. Even more than that, in their last eight losses, they are scored just a total of 23 runs. They must be better offensively down the stretch to get into the postseason. Overall, Chicago is 7th with 749 runs and 11th in team batting average, at .254.
Cody Bellinger has been a huge addition to Chicago this season. The slugger is hitting .311 on the season, with 25 home runs and 91 runs batted in.
The most significant loss of the weekend was the one on Saturday, where it went 13 innings, and they had several leads but could not keep any of them, only to see Gabriel Moreno single in the winning run in the 13th.
Javier Assad is throwing for the Chicago Cubs in this game. Assad is a 26-year-old who’s making his 10th start of the season. Assad has thrown 95.2 innings in 2023, allowed 82 hits, and struck out 71 batters. Assad’s last time throwing was September 12th, when he allowed five hits and four runs over 3.1 innings at the Rockies.
Pirates Looking to Finish Strong
The Pittsburgh Pirates are looking to finish the 2023 season strong. Despite missing the postseason, Pittsburgh has seen some positives this season.
The Pirates are 3.5 games ahead of St. Louis in the race not to finish last. Pittsburgh is coming off a 3-2 win over the Yankees, which avoided a three-game sweep at home. Overall, the Pirates won four of seven games on the home stand.
Bryan Reynolds is having a solid season for the Pirates. He leads the team with a .272 batting average and is 23 runs batted in away from 100 on the season. Jack Suwinsky is the top home run hitter, with 25 on the season. On the pitching side, Mitch Keller has been the ace; in his last start, he went eight innings and allowed just two hits in a 2-0 win over Washington.
As of publication time for this, the Pirates had yet to name a starting pitcher for this game on Tuesday.
Cubs Stop the Bleeding and Get a Hit
The Chicago Cubs will stop the bleeding and finally get back in the win column. This is a game the Cubs need. The pitching matchup favors the Cubs if they cannot figure out who they will start. Plus, they are back at home.
Look for Chicago to get on the scoreboard with a few runs early and smooth sailing from them. Take the Chicago Cubs via the runline at -1.5 (+126).
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