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.

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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


Recent Form

Teamrecordmoneyvs LHPvs RHPFaveDogO/UDiff
Chi Cubs69-50$99.0018-951-4162-377-1353-62-40.76
Pitchers Last 3 Starts

J Lester (12-5) ERA: 3.89

event dateOpponentResultscoreOU Resultipmoney
Aug 11, 2018WSHL4-9O3.2-$100.00
Aug 5, 2018SDL6-10O5-$100.00
Jul 31, 2018PITL4-5O5-$100.00

I Nova (7-6) ERA: 4.41

event dateOpponentResultscoreOU Resultipmoney
Aug 9, 2018SFW10-5O6$136.00
Aug 4, 2018STLL4-8O4-$100.00
Jul 27, 2018NYMW5-4P5$75.00


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

DatescoreWinneriphitsRunsEarned RunswalksstrikeoutsDecision
Jul 31, 20185-4PIT574433Loss
Jun 9, 20182-0CHC710025Win
May 29, 20188-6CHC684406Win
Apr 11, 201813-5CHC574433No Decision
Sep 7, 20178-2CHC651145Win

Pittsburgh Pirates – I Nova

DatescoreWinneriphitsRunsEarned RunswalksstrikeoutsDecision
Jun 10, 20187-1PIT5.241128Win
Apr 10, 20188-5PIT773306Win
Aug 30, 201717-3CHC355415Loss
Jul 8, 20174-2PIT6.232216Win
Jun 17, 20174-3PIT763326Win


Away Team Overall Scoring vs Home Team Overall Defense4.9144.5418
Away Team Away Scoring vs Home Team Home Defense4.8664.2916
Home Team Overall Scoring vs Away Team Overall Defense4.55144.1511
Home Team Home Scoring vs Away Team Road Defense4.37173.664

Head To Head Detail

DateAwayaway scoreHomehome scorelineO/UAway PitcherHome PitcherAway HitsHome HitsAway WalksHome WalksAway StrikeoutsHome Strikeouts
Aug 1, 2018CHC9PIT21178OCole Hamels (L)Nick Kingham (R)15774511
Jul 31, 2018CHC4PIT5-1167.5OJon Lester (L)Jameson Taillon (R)984345
Jun 10, 2018PIT7CHC1-1869UIvan Nova (R)Kyle Hendricks (R)9462810
Jun 9, 2018PIT0CHC2-1678UNick Kingham (R)Jon Lester (L)162486
Jun 8, 2018PIT1CHC3-1578UChad Kuhl (R)Mike Montgomery (L)9922411
May 30, 2018CHC1PIT21248UKyle Hendricks (R)Joe Musgrove (R)994373
May 29, 2018CHC8PIT61208.5OJon Lester (L)Nick Kingham (R)14134078
May 28, 2018CHC7PIT0-1079UMike Montgomery (L)Chad Kuhl (R)1225077
Apr 12, 2018PIT6CHC1-1808.5UTrevor Williams (R)Kyle Hendricks (R)9771106
Apr 11, 2018PIT5CHC13-1588.5OSteven Brault (L)Jon Lester (L)8163265

MLB Betting Odds and Trends

Team Vs Division Or Conference

Chicago Cubs

recordHomeAwayFaveDogO/Uvs LHPvs RHP
Last 106-44-32-15-41-03-70-16-3
vs Div27-2514-813-1727-181-723-26-33-024-25
vs AL10-57-33-29-31-27-82-08-5
vs NL59-4531-2028-2553-339-1246-54-416-943-36

Pittsburgh Pirates

recordHomeAwayFaveDogO/Uvs LHPvs RHP
Last 104-60-14-51-23-44-62-22-4
vs Div28-1918-1010-913-816-1020-24-33-725-12
vs AL12-55-27-310-33-210-73-09-5
vs NL49-5528-2721-2826-2325-3148-48-812-2037-35
Team Last 5 Games

Chicago Cubs

DateOpponentscoreResultlineTotalstarteripopposing starterLocation
Ag 15, 2018MIL8-4W-1449K Hendricks6Junior GuerraH
Ag 14, 2018MIL0-7L-1409.5J Quintana5J ChacinH
Aug 12, 2018WSH4-3W1277.5C Hamels7M ScherzerH
Ag 11, 2018WSH4-9L-1359J Lester3.2T RoarkH
Aug 10, 2018WSH3-2W-1398.5K Hendricks6J HellicksonH

Pittsburgh Pirates

DateOpponentscoreResultlineTotalstarteripopposing starterLocation
Aug 15, 2018MIN4-6L1068C Archer5Jose BerriosA
Aug 14, 2018MIN2-5L-1259Jameson Taillon6J OdorizziA
Aug 12, 2018SF3-4L-1067.5Joe Musgrove6Dereck RodriguezA
Aug 11, 2018SF4-0W1198.5Trevor Williams7Ty BlachA
Aug 10, 2018SF10-13L1088Clay Holmes2.2D HollandA

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