Cubs vs. Pirates (June 23): Buccos look to bag series win at home

Eddie Griffin

After losing their previous four series, the Pittsburgh Pirates will be hoping to end that rough run with a win over the visiting Chicago Cubs this afternoon.

The Pirates took the first two games of this series by outscoring the Cubbies 19-2, but the tables were turned on them yesterday in a 14-5 loss.

This is already the fourth series between these two teams this season, and each of the first three series featured at least one one-run game. Will we get a tight tilt today to close out this series?

Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Betting Odds and Matchup Information

Matchup Information

  • Matchup: Chicago Cubs (26-43, 13-18 road, 4th in the NL Central) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (28-40, 16-20 home, 3rd in the NL Central)
  • Venue & Location: PNC Park (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
  • Date: Thursday, June 23, 2022
  • Game Time: 12:35 p.m. Eastern Time
  • TV Broadcast/Streaming Info: Marquee Sports Network (Cubs), AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh (Pirates), MLB Extra Innings/MLB.TV (subscription packages)

Cubs vs. Pirates Pitching Matchup

  • Chicago Cubs: Justin Steele (2022: 13 starts, 2-5, 4.27 ERA, 59 IP, 53 K/29 BB)
  • Pittsburgh Pirates: Jose Quintana (2022: 13 starts, 1-4, 3.66 ERA, 64 IP, 55 K/22 BB)

Cubs vs. Pirates Odds

Game odds are via FanDuel. Odds from our other top reviewed and recommended sportsbooks may also be included in this article.

Moneyline

  • Chicago Cubs -112
  • Pittsburgh Pirates -104

Over/Under

  • OVER 8.5 (-110)
  • UNDER 8.5 (-110)

Run Line

  • Chicago Cubs -1.5 (+150)
  • Pittsburgh Pirates +1.5 (-182)

Trends Favor Pirates to Pick Up Series Victory

After seeing their starting pitchers get roughed up by the Pirates in Monday’s 12-1 loss and Tuesday’s 7-1 loss, Chicago’s hitters turned the tables yesterday, tagging Pittsburgh’s Jared Eickhoff for ten runs and ten hits in 4.1 innings on the way to a resounding win.

It was just the third double-digit output for the Cubs this season and the first time they beat the Cincinnati Reds 11-4 on May 24.

And based on what has happened most of the time after they have had their biggest wins this season, they are set for a letdown this afternoon.

Yesterday’s win was the Cubs’ eighth win by five or more runs, and they have followed the previous seven wins with a win just one time. On May 16, they shut out the Pirates 9-0 at Wrigley Field, and they repeated the feat the next day against Pittsburgh in a 7-0 blanking.

With their ace on the mound, the Pirates should feel good about extending that terrible trend.

Quintana, who pitched for the Cubs from 2017-20, amassing a 33-23 record in 82 appearances (79 starts), is 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA in two starts against his former team this season.

But even though he has just one win this season, his splits are better at home and during the day.

2022 Season Splits for Jose Quintana

  • Home (eight starts): 1-3, 3.18 ERA
  • Away (five starts): 0-1, 4.44 ERA
  • Day (seven starts): 0-2, 3.44 ERA
  • Night (six starts): 1-2, 3.95 ERA

June is historically his worst month winning percentage wise–in his MLB career, he is just 8-16 in 51 appearances (47 starts) in June–and this June has not been terrific, as he is 0-2 with a 6.50 ERA in four starts.

But if he can get some run support, he will be in a good position. The Pirates have scored four or more runs in seven of his starts and are 5-2 in those games, while they are just 1-5 in the six starts in which they have scored three or fewer runs.

Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Prediction and Best Bets

Cubs vs. Pirates Prediction: Pirates to win

Cubs vs. Pirates Best Bets: Pirates ML (+100 at Caesars Sportsbook & BetMGM) & Cubs team total under 4 runs (-102 at FanDuel)

Steele comes into this matchup in the better form between the two starters, as he is 1-0 with a 1.89 ERA in three starts this month.

In fact, since failing to make it through five full innings five times in his first six starts this season, Steele has had only one truly bad start in his last seven starts, which came in Cincinnati when little went right in any way for the Cubs in a 20-5 loss to the Reds on May 26.

But the Cubs have not been great at stringing together wins. Overall, they are just 10-15 following a win, which includes a 4-8 mark following road wins.

The Pirates, meanwhile, are 19-20 following a loss, which is actually fairly respectable for a team that is one of the worst in the league. There are only six teams with a lower overall win percentage, but there are eleven teams with a lower win percentage in games following a loss.

There’s only so much that you should put into a game featuring two of the worst teams in the league. But with a notable trend indicating that a letdown is likely for the Cubs, the Pirates are the safer bet to take the game and the series at home.

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