MLB Baseball Vegas Online Sports Betting & Free Predictions Saturday June 9th, 2018
Chicago Looks to Stay Hot as They Face Pittsburgh
The Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1 Friday afternoon in the opener of their weekend series.
The victory was the Cubs third straight and seventh in the last eight games. They are also 10-2 in their last 12 games and now find themselves at the top of the NL Central after a somewhat slow start to their season.
They are starting to resemble the team of two years ago, with both the offense and defense firing on all cylinders. In those last 12 games, they have outscored their opponents 60-32 as they averaged 5 RPG and allowed just 2.67.
Pittsburgh in the meanwhile is in a freefall after their hot start to the season. The Pirates were 26-17 three weeks ago and looking like one of the surprise teams in baseball. But they lost their next three to San Diego and it’s been downhill ever since.
They are now 5-15 in their last 20 games and have lost each of the six series they’ve played in. The offense has really struggled, scoring three runs or less ten times in those 20 games and nine of them have been losses.
All told they are averaging 3.7 RPG through the streak and have been shut out three times. They are allowing 5.15 RPG.
They have not however been swept yet by any of the teams. That includes the Cubs who took two of three from the Pirates from May 28th-30th.
Jon Lester (6-2, 2.44 ERA) has been on fire through his last nine games. He’s had just one relatively poor start, allowing four runs in six innings in his team’s 8-6 win over the Pirates on May 29th. In the other eight games he’s allowed a total of eight earned runs (11 total) which adds up to a 1.46 ERA. Last time out he threw seven shutout innings in a 2-0 win over the New York Mets. The Cubs are 7-3 in his last ten starts and have won four of the past five.
Nick Kingham (2-2, 4.03 ERA) dazzled in his major league debut, throwing a perfect game for 6 2/3 innings in his team’s 5-0 win. He’s come back to earth since then, allowing 13 runs in 22 innings for a 5.32 ERA. The Pirates are 2-3 when he starts, losers of his last three.
The Cubs are -170 favorites and the Pirates +145 underdogs. With Lester in one of those zones that makes him a potential hall of fame pitcher and the offense locked in as well, the smart choice is to take the Cubs to keep on rolling. The Pick: Cubs 5-1.