The Pirates are going into this game following a series loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. They struggled to generate any kind of offense in the first two games of that series and will be looking to focus on creating run-scoring opportunities in Chicago.
Chicago is entering this series, coming off a solid performance at the plate in their last few games against the Tampa Bay Rays. Their young talent is producing a lot at the plate this season. Will they keep it up against the Pirates at home?
The Pirates Need to Heat up in Chicago
Coming off a lackluster performance at the plate against the Brewers, the Pirates are looking to find themselves when they kick off their series at Wrigley. Pittsburgh was outscored 15-5 against the Brewers in three games.
Pittsburgh manager, Derek Shelton, opted just to tip his cap to Milwaukee and draw it up to their stellar pitching performance. This shows the Pirates are still confident in their ability to score runs.
The Pirates give the nod to their young starting pitcher, right-hander Bryse Wilson (0-0, 5.40 ERA), and he will be making his third start this season. He is experiencing a slow start on the mound this year but is looking to get his season back on track this Thursday.
Young Talent Looking to Lead The Cubbies
After losing four of their last six games, the Cubs are going to be feeling the pressure of the home fans. They will give the nod to right-hander Mark Leiter Jr. (0-1, 18.90 ERA), who was absolutely rocked by the Colorado Rockies in his last outing.
The player to keep an eye on is Chicago’s rookie from Japan, Seiya Suzuki. The 27-year-old is tearing up this rookie season so far this year, batting an impressive .387 with four long balls in the young season.
His teammate, veteran catcher Wilson Contreras had some high praise for Suzuki, calling him “the best player I’ve ever played with, to be honest.” The way Suzuki seems to handle himself on and off the field has been a big takeaway from his teammates so far this season.
Both Teams Ready to Explode Offensively
With Mark Leiter coming off a bad performance in his first start of the season and the Pirates remaining confident at the plate, I think this could be a bad day for the Cubs at home. Look for the Pirates to jump on Leiter early and try to break the game open.
I am taking the Pirates moneyline that sits currently at +140 and also look at the over 8.5 runs in today’s game in Wrigley. I think the offense will be buzzing on both sides today, and it will be a fun game for the fans to watch.