Happy Fourth of July for those celebrating Independence Day in the United States, and for those elsewhere, let’s give your Thursday a boost with an MLB bet today. Here we will breakdown the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs:
Pittsburgh Pirates – Chicago Cubs
Keys to the game
The first thing that stood out to me breaking down this game was the major pitching advantage Jose Quintana has over the Pirates. While Jose Quintana has had an up and down season this year he comes into this game after his best performance of the season against the Cincinnati Reds, allowing zero runs in 6 innings pitched. Now he gets to face a Pirates team who struggle to hit left-handed pitchers like Jose Quintana. To highlight the Pirates struggles against lefties and Quintana’s advantage look at these charts below.
We have the first chart showing Quintana’s solid numbers against left-handed batters and the great news for him is that he is facing a Pirates team that is near the bottom in hitting against left-handed pitching as shown on the second chart. In terms of the Cubs hitters against Jordan Lyles, they should be in a good spot. Although not terrible season wise Lyles has given up 16 runs in his last 19 innings pitched and is back in only his second start after injuring his hamstring.
Looking at these last 10 games, clearly, the hamstring injury appeared to make some impact. In only his second game back from injury, I am not comfortable betting on a player who has been slowly regressing all year and on the opposite side is facing a left-handed pitcher who has an edge over the Pirates hitters. As mentioned, Quintana had a disastrous performance versus the Mets, with eight runs given up on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings pitched and just two strikeouts. He bounced back well in Cincinnati with six shutout innings. I expect Quintana to pitch well here so I’m going Cubs in the last game of the series and to avoid a four-game sweep. The offense has been a concern with the Cubs lately, but they showed some life last night and should have won the game if not for them throwing the game away in the final inning. With this in mind, we’ll take the Cubs to avoid the sweep and bounce back after a heartbreaking loss last night.
Cubs ML @ (1.83/-120)