Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#3951 Chicago Cubs vs.
#3952 Pittsburgh Pirates
Friday, September 23, 2022 at 6:35pm EDT
Written by Mark Ruelle

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The Cubs and Pirates continue their four-game weekend series on Friday night in Pittsburgh. Both teams are far removed from the playoff picture and seem locked in their 3rd and last place positions respectively, both well below .500. The pitching matchup for Friday night features the Cubs' Javier Assad (1-2, 3.86) taking on the Pirates' Bryse Wilson (3-9, 6.07). First pitch is scheduled for 6:40pm EST.

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Almost Over

Perhaps mercifully, the Cubs season is winding to a close as they look for a fresh start in 2023. The Cubs will have some work to do this offseason if they want to return to the glory years that culminated in a World Series title in 2016. Chicago might begin this offseason by revamping a pitching staff that has the 21st best ERA in baseball, a slight improvement from 2021. On Thursday night, in the series opener with the Pirates, the Cubs pulled out a 3-2 win thanks to Hayden Wesneski's 6.1 innings of five-hit ball with six strikeouts.

The Cubs' pitching has been a bit better of late, with an ERA of 2.87 in it last three games heading into Thursday's series opener with the Pirates. The team has had nine quality starts in their last 20 games, a stretch that has seen the Cubbies go a respectable 9-11 in that span. On Friday night, Chicago will turn to 25-year-old Javier Assad against the Pirates lineup. Assad is 1-2 in his last five starts with an ERA of 4.66. He has allowed 18 hits in his last 19.1 innings pitched. He has yet to face the Pirates this season.

Limping to a Last Place Finish

The Pirates are also having a tough season but they may be a bit more enthused than the Cubs with a number of young players on the roster and potential for the future. Players such as Oneil Cruz, Rodolfo Castro, Jack Suwinski and pitchers Roansy Contreras and Friday's starter Bryse Wilson have been given the chance to develop alongside young veteran Pirate cornerstones like Ke'Bryan Hayes and Brian Reynolds. On Thursday night in the first matchup of the series, the Pirates lost 3-2 after leaving the bases loaded in the 8th and first and third in the 9th.

The Pirates are happy to be back home after a long stretch of games against playoff teams, including a sweep to start the week against the Yankees. The last-place Pirates are just 8-22 in their last 30 games. On the mound on Friday night will be young righty Bryse Wilson. Wilson has a rough 7.29 ERA in his last five games and is 1-2 in his last five games. He is o-1 in two starts against the Cubs with a 5.65 ERA.

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Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


Assad has pitched decently in recent weeks while Wilson has been hit hard. The Cubs are 6-4 in their last ten games and are 32-32 against teams under .500 this season. Pittsburgh meanwhile, has struggled over their last ten games with four wins in ten games. The Pirates are 28th in runs per game and are hitting just .207 as a team in their last ten games. The Cubs, meanwhile, have a stellar 2.73 ERA in their last ten games. Assad will keep the light hitting Pirates lineup at bay in this one. The Cubs have won two straight games over the Pirates entering Thursday's action.

Take the Cubs with the money line.

Prediction: Cubs -116

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


Wilson has an inflated ERA of over seven runs per game in his last five starts and has an ERA of nearly six against the Cubs this season. He also has an ERA of nearly seven at home this season and has allowed nine runs in eight starts. Assad was roughed up a bit in his last start, lasting just two innings and allowing four runs. The Pirates are also 5-4-1 to the over in their last ten games.

Take the over, 8.5 runs.

Prediction: Over 8.5

Written By Mark Ruelle , "Mark Ruelle"

Mark has been a sports fanatic since childhood. He is also an avid follower of sports analytics and has used it in his own betting analysis for over two decades. Now we have Mark on our team here at Stat Salt. He holds degrees in marketing, broadcasting, and English and uses this vast array of assets to dissect and analyze game matchups. Mark will provide you with a wide variety of statistics to consider and a strong opinion in each matchup that he covers. Please follow him daily for an up-to-the-minute analysis of all the important games.