The Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates will resume a three game series Tuesday night from Wrigley Field. The Pirates will send 29-year old right-hander Chris Archer to the hill, and 29-year old left-hander Mike Montgomery will toe the rubber for the Cubs. The Cubs lead the season-series 8-7.
Archer Records Second Win in Pirates Uniform
Chris Archer will make his 18th start of the year, and 10th as a member of the Pirates, hunting for his second straight victory. Archer was outstanding in his previous start, limiting the Royals to only one run in seven innings in a 2-1 Pirates’ win. The veteran right-hander has pitched well this month after an inconsistent August, and he stands at 5-8 with a 4.49 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP in 142.1 innings of work on the season. Archer has not seen the Cubs this season, and he has held them to seven runs with a 1-1 record in 18 career innings.
Francisco Cervelli is having a remarkable season against the Cubs pitching, sporting a .388 average with three homers and 10 RBI’s in 31 at bats. The 10-year veteran catcher is having a strong year, posting a .253 average with 11 home runs and 53 RBI’s. Cervelli is having a quiet month, hitting .220 with four RBI’s. The Pirates are currently averaging 4.29 runs per game, ranking them 19th in the Majors. The Pittsburgh pitching staff is carrying a 4.06 team ERA, pegging them 16th in the big leagues.
Montgomery Aims for Third Win of Season Against Pirates
Mike Montgomery will make his 37th appearance and 18th start of the season, looking to boost his season record against the Pirates to 3-0. Montgomery was sharp in his previous effort, limiting the D-Backs to one run in six innings, leading to the win to even his record at 5-5. The 6-foot-5 left-hander has only pitched into the fifth inning in one out of his last four starts, and he currently owns a 3.75 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP in 117.2 innings logged on the season. Montgomery has silenced the Pirates bats this season, limiting them to four runs in 13.2 innings, and he possesses a 3-0 record with a stifling 2.30 ERA in 27.1 career innings against the NL Central foes.
Javier Baez has hit more homers against the Pirates than any other team this year, belting five home runs with 11 RBI’s in 55 at bats. The 25-year old shortstop is having a spectacular season, hitting .293 with a team-leading 34 home runs and 110 RBI’s. Baez has crushed another three homers with seven RBI’s in his last six games. The Cubs deep lineup is averaging 4.71 runs per game, ranking them ninth in the Major Leagues. The Chicago pitching staff features a 3.67 team ERA, good for fourth in the Majors.
The Chicago Cubs are:
- 4-1 in Montgomery’s last 5 starts.
- 10-4 in their last 14 home games.
- 23-8 in their last 31 home games against a right-handed starter.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are:
- 0-4 in Archer’s last 4 road starts.
- 0-4 in Archer’s last 4 starts against a team with a winning record.
- 6-21 in their last 27 road games against a right-handed starter.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I am siding with the Cubs in this contest. Cubs’ starter Mike Montgomery has limited the Pirates to only four runs in 13.2 innings this season, and he features a solid 3-0 record with a 2.30 career ERA in 27.1 innings against the Pirates. Furthermore, the Cubs have won seven out of their last ten games, and they feature a dominant 47-27 home record on the season. Lastly, the Pirates have lost in each of Archer’s last four road starts.
Prediction: Chicago Cubs -135
Full-Game Total Pick
I am leaning towards the over in this matchup. The Cubs have scored a combined 18 runs in their last three games heading into Monday’s game, and they are averaging a solid 4.8 runs on their home field, plus the over is 4-1 in their last five games overall. The Pirates should do some damage at the plate against Mike Montgomery who owns a 4.43 ERA at Wrigley Field this season, plus the over is 5-1 in Montgomery’s last six starts against a team with a winning record.
Prediction: Over 9
Full-Game Prop Bet
The Cubs as the last team to score is a solid prop. The Pirates offensive production fades late in the game with only 64 runs in the seventh, followed by 74 in the eighth, and 53 runs in the ninth. The Cubs bullpen ranks third in the big leagues with a 3.33 ERA and they should contain the Pirates late in the game. In addition, the Cubs’ highest scoring stretch of a game occurs through innings 7-9 with 245 runs scored, including 80 runs in the eighth inning.
Prediction: Last Team to Score: Chicago Cubs -125
First Five Innings Side Pick
The Cubs are a strong play on the five inning line as well. Chris Archer has been inconsistent since joining the Pirates, and he owns a subpar 4.82 ERA over his last five starts. In addition, the Pirates are below average against left-handed pitching, hitting .247 with a .717 OPS against lefties, giving me confidence Montgomery can at least contain their offense.
Prediction: Chicago Cubs -145
First Five Innings Total Bet
I am taking the over on the five inning total. Chris Archer has allowed at least four runs in three consecutive road starts, and the Cubs lineup is hitting a combined .319 against him. In addition, Mike Mongomery is carrying a subpar 4.42 ERA over his last four starts.
Prediction: Over 5
First Five Innings Prop Prediction
I am expecting a scoreless first frame. Chris Archer has been steady in the first inning, posting a 2.42 ERA in his 17 innings logged. In addition, Mike Montgomery features a solid 3.18 ERA in the first frame, and the Pirates have only scored 64 runs in the first inning this season.
Prediction: A Run in the First Inning: No +110