The Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs conclude a three-game series Sept. 21 after the two split the first two games in high-scoring fashion. Pittsburgh will be looking to keep its season alive as it is eight games out of Wild Card positioning while the Cubs will be trying to hold onto the final Wild Card. However, MLB expert picks and the odds agree on Chicago taking the win and the series.
Oviedo, Bucs Look to Buck Odds
Starter Johan Oviedo will hope to grab the Pirates their second straight win over Chicago, but he’ll have to improve his recent play to do so.
Oviedo hasn’t gotten off to the strongest start in September, giving up seven earned runs and one home run in 12⅓ innings for a 5.11 ERA.
He struggled in his two starts against the Cubs this season, allowing six earned runs and a homer in 10⅓ innings for a pair of losses.
Oviedo will be aiming to have stronger play this time around, but his recent form may be one reason why the Cubs are favored in MLB betting lines. Bettors may want to see if he can get off to a better start before looking at some live betting odds.
Offense Stays Solid for Cubs
Chicago will look for another solid performance from its offense to help it secure the series-finale win against the Pirates.
Though the Cubs lost the last game, the offense wasn’t to blame as their pitching gave up 13 runs and three homers to Pittsburgh in the 13-7 loss.
Chicago’s offense has remained strong in the series against the Pirates, combining for 21 runs and six home runs in the first two games.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 21, 2023
The Cubs have averaged 7.9 runs a game this season against the Pirates and they are 11th in the MLB with a .255 batting average. Those are two things to keep in mind when making MLB picks.
Johan Oviedo (8-14, 4.27 ERA) vs. Kyle Hendricks (6-7, 3.77)
In his last two outings on the road, Oviedo has given up six earned runs and a home run in 7⅓ innings, struggling overall this season on the road with a 4.36 ERA and 4-8 record.
Hendricks hasn’t been impressive in September either, allowing nine earned runs and two home runs over 16⅓ innings for a 1-0 record and 4.96 ERA. However, he has been better against Pittsburgh, giving up three earned runs over 12 innings for a 1-1 record.
Pirates vs Cubs Best Bet
The Pirates and Cubs split each of the first two games of the series, and taking the Cubs on the moneyline is one of the best MLB bets for the series finale.
Hendricks should have a better day against Pittsburgh. He has been solid against the Pirates in the past. The Pirates had averaged 2.8 runs a game vs. Chicago prior to their 13-run eruption on Wednesday.
Oviedo may also have trouble slowing the Chicago offense, which has remained solid in spite of the Cubs’ last loss to Pittsburgh and has been strong against the Pirates all season long.
The Cubs lead the regular-season series against Pittsburgh 10 games to two and should pick up another victory in the series finale.
MLB Pick: Chicago Cubs (-166)
Pirates vs Cubs Betting Lines
Pirates vs Cubs Game Information
- Game: Pirates (71-81) vs Cubs (79-73)
- Location: Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
- Day/Time: Thursday, Sept. 21, 7:40 p.m. ET
- Pirates vs Cubs Live Stream:MLB.tv