Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates odds, picks and prediction

The Chicago Cubs (26-22) go for a three-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates (18-30) Thursday at PNC Park. First pitch is set for 12:35 p.M. ET (MLB Network). Let’s analyze BetMGM Sportsbook’s lines around the Cubs vs. Pirates odds with MLB picks and predictions.

2021 series: Cubs lead 7-4.

Chicago took the first two games of this series, winning 4-3 Tuesday and 4-1 Wednesday. The Pirates haven’t won a season series against the Cubs since 2014.

RHP Kyle Hendricks is projected to start the series finale for Chicago. The eight-year veteran is 4-4 with a 4.74 ERA (49 1/3 IP, 26 ER), 1.50 WHIP, 7.7 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 9 starts this season.

  • Last outing: Win, 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 4 K in 12-3 victory at St. Louis Cardinals Friday.
  • Career vs. Pirates: 6-10, 3.36 ERA (115 1/3 IP, 43 ER), 1.22 WHIP, 6.9 K/9 in 21 starts.
  • 2021 vs. Pirates: 0-2, 7.88 ERA (8 IP, 7 ER), 13 H, 4 BB, 7 K in 2 starts.
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    LHP Tyler Anderson is Pittsburgh’s projected starter. The six-year vet is 3-4 with a 4.73 ERA (51 1/3 IP, 27 ER), 1.23 WHIP, 8.9 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 9 starts.

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  • Last outing: Loss, 5 IP, 9 ER, 10 H, 2 BB, 7 K in 20-1 drubbing at Atlanta Braves Friday.
  • Career vs. Cubs: 3-2, 3.99 ERA (38 1/3 IP, 17 ER), 1.12 WHIP, 9.6 K/9 in 6 starts.
  • 2021 vs. Cubs: 1-2, 3.93 ERA (18 1/3 IP, 8 ER), 19 H, 3 BB, 18 K in 3 starts.
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  • Cubs at Pirates odds, lines, picks and prediction

    MLB odds courtesy of BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports for a full list. Odds last updated at 6:45 a.M. ET.

  • Money line : Cubs -150 (bet $150 to win $100) | Pirates +125 (bet $100 to win $125).
  • Against the spread/ATS : Cubs -1.5 (+110) | Pirates +1.5 (-135).
  • Over/Under : 7.5 (O: -115 | U: -105).
  • Prediction

    Cubs 4, Pirates 2.

    Money line (ML)

    CHICAGO (- 150) is the STRONGEST PLAY – 1½ times your usual wager. Hendricks is having a solid May, posting a 3-1 record with a 2.36 ERA (26 2/3 IP, 7 ER) in 4 starts.

    The Pirates have the worst home record (8-13) in the NL and are a woeful 6-17 overall this month.

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    Run line/Against the spread (ATS)

    PASS. The lean would be with the Pirates +1.5 (-135) as four of their seven losses to the Cubs this season were one-run defeats, but I’m not laying the juice. Hendricks is on his game and the Bucs are spiraling.

    ATS records: Cubs 27-21 | Pirates 21-27.

    Over/Under (O/U)

    Back the UNDER 7.5 (- 105) to win 0.3 UNITS. The Cubs are an Under team.

    The Under is 6-1-1 in their last eight games, 10-3-1 in their last 14 and 12-4-1 in their last 17. The hesitation with a larger wager is that the Under is 2-7 in Hendrick’s starts, including 1-5 in his last 6.

    The Pirates are also an Under team (see O/U record below), but are 10-10-1 O/U at home.

    In addition, umpire Ryan Additon is scheduled to be calling balls and strikes Thursday. The Under is 4-1 in his last 5 games behind the plate.

    O/U records: Cubs 19-26-3 | Pirates 20-25-3.

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    JOHNNY’S RECORD W-L SP ROI
    2021 MLB

    51-47-2

    15-17-1

    -2.32

    2020 MLB

    80-59-1

    39-21

    +24.79

    2021 (all sports)

    154-133-3

    64-59-1

    +9.58

    *

    SP: Strongest plays; ROI: Return on investment

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