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Cubs Visit Pirates in Double-Tough NL Central

Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball

Can Pirates Stay in the NL Central Race?

The Pittsburgh Pirates are in the playoffs hunt again. The Chicago Cubs (69-50, +0.99 betting units) are once again on top of the National League Central standings. This year there are three other winning teams in the division.

Their path to the playoffs is anything but secure.

The Cubs will visit the Pittsburgh Pirates (61-60, +0.73 units) Thursday night in the opener of an important four-game set at PNC Park.

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, NBCS Chicago, AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh.

PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs LH Jon Lester (12-5, 3.89 ERA) vs. Pirates RH Ivan Nova (7-6, 4.42).

ODDS: Cubs are -125-moneyline favorites. The total is 8.5Under -115.

The Pirates are 51-2 when leading after eight innings, while the Cubs are 58-2 when taking a lead to the ninth.

Bet on baseball at Bovada and get a free 50% bonus.

Jon Lester will start the game for Chicago. Lester did make the All-Star Game this year for the fifth time. His performance level is arguably the worst it’s been since he broke into the majors in 2007. Lester has given up a career-high 1.47 home runs per nine innings.

The Cubs are still 17-7 this year in his 24 starts for 8.29 units in profit. That’s after providing Lester 5.96 runs of support per game. That’s well above Chicago’s season average of 4.92 runs, driving the Over to a 14-9-2 record.

Ivan Nova is due up for the Pirates. Nova has Pittsburgh up 4.69 units this year on a team record of 13-9 (The Over is 12-9-1). The Pirates have won five of Nova’s last six starts. The 31-year-old is 3-0 with a 4.22 ERA over that stretch.

Nova won at San Francisco last time out. He limited the Giants to two runs and three hits over six frames. Nova is 4-1 with a 3.63 ERA in six starts against the Cubs and has allowed four runs in 12 2/3 innings across two meetings in 2018.

PREDICTION: Cubs 6, Pirates 4

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Recent Form

Team record money vs LHP vs RHP Fave Dog O/U Diff
Chi Cubs 69-50 $99.00 18-9 51-41 62-37 7-13 53-62-4 0.76
Pittsburgh 61-60 $73.00 15-20 46-40 36-30 25-30 58-55-8 0.0099999999999998
Pitchers Last 3 Starts

J Lester (12-5) ERA: 3.89

event date Opponent Result score OU Result ip money
Aug 11, 2018 WSH L 4-9 O 3.2 -$100.00
Aug 5, 2018 SD L 6-10 O 5 -$100.00
Jul 31, 2018 PIT L 4-5 O 5 -$100.00

I Nova (7-6) ERA: 4.41

event date Opponent Result score OU Result ip money
Aug 9, 2018 SF W 10-5 O 6 $136.00
Aug 4, 2018 STL L 4-8 O 4 -$100.00
Jul 27, 2018 NYM W 5-4 P 5 $75.00

Bullpen

Chi Cubs’s relievers have pitched 9 innings in the last 3 games.
Pittsburgh’s relievers have pitched 7 innings in the last 3 games.
Pitcher Recent Starts Vs Opponent

Chicago Cubs – J Lester

Date score Winner ip hits Runs Earned Runs walks strikeouts Decision
Jul 31, 2018 5-4 PIT 5 7 4 4 3 3 Loss
Jun 9, 2018 2-0 CHC 7 1 0 0 2 5 Win
May 29, 2018 8-6 CHC 6 8 4 4 0 6 Win
Apr 11, 2018 13-5 CHC 5 7 4 4 3 3 No Decision
Sep 7, 2017 8-2 CHC 6 5 1 1 4 5 Win

Pittsburgh Pirates – I Nova

Date score Winner ip hits Runs Earned Runs walks strikeouts Decision
Jun 10, 2018 7-1 PIT 5.2 4 1 1 2 8 Win
Apr 10, 2018 8-5 PIT 7 7 3 3 0 6 Win
Aug 30, 2017 17-3 CHC 3 5 5 4 1 5 Loss
Jul 8, 2017 4-2 PIT 6.2 3 2 2 1 6 Win
Jun 17, 2017 4-3 PIT 7 6 3 3 2 6 Win

Supergrid

Title Stat Rank Stat Rank
Away Team Overall Scoring vs Home Team Overall Defense 4.91 4 4.54 18
Away Team Away Scoring vs Home Team Home Defense 4.86 6 4.29 16
Home Team Overall Scoring vs Away Team Overall Defense 4.55 14 4.15 11
Home Team Home Scoring vs Away Team Road Defense 4.37 17 3.66 4

Head To Head Detail

Date Away away score Home home score line O/U Away Pitcher Home Pitcher Away Hits Home Hits Away Walks Home Walks Away Strikeouts Home Strikeouts
Aug 1, 2018 CHC 9 PIT 2 117 8 O Cole Hamels (L) Nick Kingham (R) 15 7 7 4 5 11
Jul 31, 2018 CHC 4 PIT 5 -116 7.5 O Jon Lester (L) Jameson Taillon (R) 9 8 4 3 4 5
Jun 10, 2018 PIT 7 CHC 1 -186 9 U Ivan Nova (R) Kyle Hendricks (R) 9 4 6 2 8 10
Jun 9, 2018 PIT 0 CHC 2 -167 8 U Nick Kingham (R) Jon Lester (L) 1 6 2 4 8 6
Jun 8, 2018 PIT 1 CHC 3 -157 8 U Chad Kuhl (R) Mike Montgomery (L) 9 9 2 2 4 11
May 30, 2018 CHC 1 PIT 2 124 8 U Kyle Hendricks (R) Joe Musgrove (R) 9 9 4 3 7 3
May 29, 2018 CHC 8 PIT 6 120 8.5 O Jon Lester (L) Nick Kingham (R) 14 13 4 0 7 8
May 28, 2018 CHC 7 PIT 0 -107 9 U Mike Montgomery (L) Chad Kuhl (R) 12 2 5 0 7 7
Apr 12, 2018 PIT 6 CHC 1 -180 8.5 U Trevor Williams (R) Kyle Hendricks (R) 9 7 7 1 10 6
Apr 11, 2018 PIT 5 CHC 13 -158 8.5 O Steven Brault (L) Jon Lester (L) 8 16 3 2 6 5

MLB Betting Odds and Trends

Team Vs Division Or Conference

Chicago Cubs

record Home Away Fave Dog O/U vs LHP vs RHP
Overall 69-50 38-23 31-27 62-36 10-14 53-62-4 18-9 51-41
Last 10 6-4 4-3 2-1 5-4 1-0 3-7 0-1 6-3
vs Div 27-25 14-8 13-17 27-18 1-7 23-26-3 3-0 24-25
vs AL 10-5 7-3 3-2 9-3 1-2 7-8 2-0 8-5
vs NL 59-45 31-20 28-25 53-33 9-12 46-54-4 16-9 43-36

Pittsburgh Pirates

record Home Away Fave Dog O/U vs LHP vs RHP
Overall 61-60 33-29 28-31 36-26 28-33 58-55-8 15-20 46-40
Last 10 4-6 0-1 4-5 1-2 3-4 4-6 2-2 2-4
vs Div 28-19 18-10 10-9 13-8 16-10 20-24-3 3-7 25-12
vs AL 12-5 5-2 7-3 10-3 3-2 10-7 3-0 9-5
vs NL 49-55 28-27 21-28 26-23 25-31 48-48-8 12-20 37-35
Team Last 5 Games

Chicago Cubs

Date Opponent score Result line Total starter ip opposing starter Location
Ag 15, 2018 MIL 8-4 W -144 9 K Hendricks 6 Junior Guerra H
Ag 14, 2018 MIL 0-7 L -140 9.5 J Quintana 5 J Chacin H
Aug 12, 2018 WSH 4-3 W 127 7.5 C Hamels 7 M Scherzer H
Ag 11, 2018 WSH 4-9 L -135 9 J Lester 3.2 T Roark H
Aug 10, 2018 WSH 3-2 W -139 8.5 K Hendricks 6 J Hellickson H

Pittsburgh Pirates

Date Opponent score Result line Total starter ip opposing starter Location
Aug 15, 2018 MIN 4-6 L 106 8 C Archer 5 Jose Berrios A
Aug 14, 2018 MIN 2-5 L -125 9 Jameson Taillon 6 J Odorizzi A
Aug 12, 2018 SF 3-4 L -106 7.5 Joe Musgrove 6 Dereck Rodriguez A
Aug 11, 2018 SF 4-0 W 119 8.5 Trevor Williams 7 Ty Blach A
Aug 10, 2018 SF 10-13 L 108 8 Clay Holmes 2.2 D Holland A

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