Rout in Series Opener
There was a lot of buzz around Monday’s game and not because of the teams playing in it. Rather it was the debut of Oneil Cruz for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He did not disappoint. The Pirates trounced the Chicago Cubs 12-1 and Cruz made a big impact in his 2022 debut, collecting two hits and showing off his remarkable tools. The Cubs continue to flounder without making a splash.
Cubs: Pitching is Achilles Heel
It didn’t take long for the Chicago Cubs to show what their biggest weakness is on Monday night. Pitching. Starter Calen Kilian lasted all of 2.1 innings, surrendering seven runs, only five of which were earned. But the biggest issue was his control. He allowed five walks. Though Alec Mills relieved him and ate up 4.1 innings, the Pirates hit him hard for eight hits and five runs.
After such a good weekend against the Atlanta Braves, this was not the way the Cubs wanted to start a fresh series against the Pirates. The Cubs just couldn’t get anything going offensively, even on a night when they put up 10 hits. But this has been their season: They can hit the ball, but not enough to score runs at a decent rate.
Matt Swarmer will make his fifth start of his MLB career. At this point, the Cubs are just trying to find some young arms in their minor league system that can come up and contribute in the majors. Swarmer hasn’t done bad, but nothing to be dazzled by yet while sporting a 5.23 ERA. This would be a great game for him to have his breakout game.
Rookie Dazzles for Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates had more to be excited about on Monday night than just the score of the game. It was the 2022 debut of their No. 3 prospect, Oneil Cruz. The young shortstop has been highly touted with enormous raw talent and skills.
He collected two hits, scored two runs and had four RBIs in his stirring debut. On top of that, Cruz showed off good speed on the base paths, hit the ball extremely hard and lit up the radar gun with a 96.7 mph throw from shortstop. That was the hardest thrown ball this season by an infielder. It will be interesting to see how he continues to develop and perform. And now the Pirates have a young, talented left side of the infield with Cruz and Ke’Bryan Hayes.
The Pirates will send 22-year-old Roansy Contreras to the mound on Tuesday. He will make his sixth start and has been performing well since making the move from the bullpen. He is adapting well and continues to get better with each start. The Pirates are bringing him along slowly, limiting his innings to protect his young arm.
Cubs vs Pirates Head-to-Head
The Cubs and Pirates are 10 games into their 19-game season series. The Pirates lead the series by a narrow margin of 6-4. They will carry the momentum into this game while the Cubs need a bounce-back game on Tuesday.
Cubs vs Pirates Game Information
- Game: Cubs (25-42) vs Pirates (27-39)
- Location: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA
- Day/Time: Tuesday, 7:05 p.m. ET
- Cubs vs Pirates Live Stream: MLB.tv
Cubs vs Pirates Betting Lines
M. Swarmer -R
|+1½ -160||+137||8½-125o||3½-125o / 3½-105u|
R. Contreras -R
|-1½ +140||-152||8½+105u||4½-110o / 4½-120u|
Cubs vs Pirates Prediction
Things have changed for Tuesday night’s game in Pittsburgh. The sportsbooks have the Pirates as the favorites at -153 and rightfully so after their showing on Monday night and a well-performing pitcher on the mound.
The MLB lines show an interesting consideration in the runline area. The Pirates are getting +135 to cover the runline. This is generous but not impossible. But take into account that they are only 29-37 against the runline this season. It might be a risk, but one worth taking as the Pirates seem to have some good momentum.
When you bet online, take the Pirates to cover the runline at +135.