Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#901 Pittsburgh Pirates 9.5 vs.
#902 Chicago Cubs -160
Friday, July 12, 2019 at 2:20pm EDT
Written by Adam Rauzino

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The Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates will return to action with a three-game NL Central series starting Friday afternoon from Wrigley Field. The Pirates will send 30-year-old right-hander Chris Archer to the hill, and the Cubs will counter with 32-year-old right-hander Yu Darvish. The Pirates lead the seasons series 4-3, and they only trail the Cubs by 2.5 games for the top spot in the NL Central.

Archer Allows Two Homers in No Decision vs Cubs

The Pirates will have Chris Archer take the mound for the 16th time of the season as he seeks his first win since early June. Archer just saw the Cubs in his latest start earlier this month and he conceded three runs in five innings in a start that concluded with a no-decision in a 6-5 Pirates’ win. The seven-year veteran right-hander is having an inconsistent season, and he holds a weak 5.49 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP accompanied with a 3-6 record in 78.2 innings of work. Overall, Archer has experienced success against the Cubs in his career, sporting a 2.79 ERA and a 2-1 record in five starts. Anthony Rizzo is 2 for 11 against Archer, while Javier Baez is 7 for 12, and Kris Bryant is 1 for 4. 

Pirates’ star Josh Bell has accumulated more RBI’s against the Cubs than any other team this season, collecting 12 RBI’s along with four home runs in 26 at-bats. The third-year slugger is having a dazzling season, posting a .302 average with 27 home runs and 84 RBI’s. Bell is one of the hottest hitters in the Majors right now, notching 14 RBI’s on the month.

The Pirates are scoring an average of 4.85 runs per game, ranking them 16th in the Major Leagues. The Pittsburgh pitching staff holds a 4.91 team ERA, positioning them at 23rd in the big leagues. The Pirates hold a 22-24 road record on the season.

Darvish Searching for First Win Since Late April

Yu Darvish will get the nod for the 19th time of the season. Darvish is looking to have a strong second half after a poor first half. Darvish battled the Pirates in his latest effort and he was shaky, squandering four runs including two home runs in 6.2 innings, leading to the no-decision. The veteran right-hander is having trouble with home runs, and he owns a weak 5.01 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP paired with a 2-4 record in 97 innings pitched on the year. Darvish has fared well over his four career starts against the Pirates, filing a 3.75 ERA to go with a 1-2 record. Josh Bell is 2 for 5 against Darvish, while Starling Marte is 4 for 8, and Corey Dickerson is 4 for 10.

Kris Bryant is swinging a hot bat, sporting a .429 average with three RBI’s this month after hitting .300 in June. The 27-year-old third baseman is having another quality season, registering a .297 average with 17 homers and 44 RBI’s. Bryant is a solid 8 for 24 with three RBI’s against the Pirates this season.

The Cubs potent lineup stands 12th in the Major Leagues with an average of 5.06 runs on the season. The Chicago pitching staff possesses a 4.09 team ERA, positioning them eighth in the Majors. The Cubs own a 29-16 record at Wrigley Field.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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I am taking the Pirates in this clash. The Pirates are alive in the hunt for a playoff position and they cannot be taken lightly. Cubs’ starter Yu Darvish has not been a reliable option on the mound as his woes continue. The right-hander has allowed at least four runs in three consecutive starts which included four runs against the Pirates in his previous start before the break.

Furthermore, the Pirates have won four of the seven meetings against the Cubs this season, and they are playing terrific baseball, winning five out of their last seven games overall. Lastly, Pirates’ starter Chris Archer features a sharp 2.79 career ERA against the Cubs.

Prediction: Pittsburgh Pirates

Full-Game Total Pick

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I am opting with the over in this matchup. Both starting pitchers are susceptible to giving up runs, and I anticipate offense from both sides. Darvish is 0-3 with an ugly 6.23 ERA at Wrigley Field this season, and the over is 6-2-1 in his last nine starts against a team with a losing record.

In addition, Chris Archer has issues on the road where he holds a terrible 7.03 ERA, and the over is 4-1 in his last five road starts. Also, both teams are consistently generating runs and this contest should see the over convert as a result.

Prediction: Over

Full-Game Prop Bet

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The over on the Pirates team total offered by PointsBet is a strong option. The Pirates have scored nine runs in 12 innings against Yu Darvish this season. Darvish continues to squander home runs, allowing seven jacks in his last four starts, and the Pirates have belted 19 homers in their last 11 games. Also, the Pirates are averaging a solid 5.29 runs against the Cubs this season.

Prediction: Pirates Team Total Over

First Five Innings Prop Prediction

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I am sticking with the Pirates on the three-inning line. Chris Archer is usually quite effective through the first three innings. The right-hander features a cumulative 3.80 ERA through innings 1-3, while Darvish is at a 4.70 ERA in that same span. Also, the Pirates’ highest-scoring stretch is by far the first three innings where they have tallied 158 runs.

Prediction: Three Inning Line Pittsburgh Pirates

Written By Adam Rauzino

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball and football. Adam enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about about various sports as well as personal finance. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.