The Chicago Cubs are set to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates in what should be a very exciting game Monday. Currently, Chicago is the favorite according to most sportsbooks at -1.5.
Coming into Monday’s game, Chicago holds a 45-38 record, while Pittsburgh is 39-42. The Cubs have been impressive on the road, compiling a 29-16 record while Pittsburgh is just below .500 at 17-19 at home.
As the favorite, Chicago has done very well. They are 40-22, while the Pirates have a 25-28 record in the underdog role.
In the last 10 head-to-head games, Chicago has the edge in runs per contest with 2.80. Pittsburgh has the edge in hits with 7.50, as well as walks with 3.90. The Cubs have managed to rack up a lot of strikeouts as they average 9.50 per contest. For their part, Pittsburgh does not fare much better as they average around eight a game.
Alzolay looks to build off solid start
Adbert Alzolay has been an impressive part of the Chicago Cubs roster in the short time he has been in the Windy City. He holds a 1-0 record and sports a 2.98 ERA. In his last start on Tuesday against the Braves, he worked 4 2/3 innings, allowing one home run, four strikeouts, and four walks. He has not faced the Pittsburgh Pirates yet.
This will be a great test to see how he fares against them. This is a guy that should be facing the Pirates for years to come, and Pittsburgh certainly has a lineup that could give the rookie trouble. His future is very bright, and he should be able to fare well against divisional competition.
Williams tries to keep building
Trevor Williams is set to take the mound for Pittsburgh on Monday. He has had a couple of great starts since returning from the injured list. He pitched seven innings, giving up four runs in his third start since his return off the list.
He has posted a 2-2 record with a 3.54 ERA so far this season. This is a Chicago Cubs lineup that he has had success against. They have a .234 average and 15 strikeouts in 94 at-bats against him.
The hitter who has had the most success against him is first baseman Anthony Rizzo. In 15 at-bats, he has four hits, two of them doubles, a home run, and three runs batted in. Although he has a .267 batting average, his production is certainly worth an average that can be improved upon.
Kyle Schwarber is another batter that has had success against him. In 15 at-bats, he has five hits, two of which have gone for home runs. For his efforts, he has a .333 batting average.
I would take the Cubs in this game. They are a team that is on a roll right now. Although the Pirates are surging as of late, they are going to be running into some tough division rivals in the coming days. The Cubs are one of them. Make sure to take Chicago at -1.5 in this one.