MLB Baseball: Pittsburgh Pirates vs Chicago CubsPrediction, Odds and Preview - 09/04/2021

by James Q

MLB Baseball:  Pittsburgh Pirates vs Chicago CubsPrediction, Odds and Preview - 09/04/2021

Game Time: 2:20 pm ET, Saturday, September 4th, 2021
Venue:  Wrigley Field, Chicago Illinois
Where to Watch:  ATT SportsNet-PIT, Marquee Sports Network

Opening MLB Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings:  Moneyline odds: Pirates +110, Cubs -130; Over/Under:  

Season Record

Pirates: 48-87, last place,  NL Central
Cubs:  61-75, 4th place NL Central
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Pittsburgh Pirates vs Chicago Cubs Preview and Analysis

Recent Form
The Pirates are 3-7 over their last ten games.  Logging 5 Overs and 5 Unders.  They went 1-1 against the Arizona Diamondbacks, 2-2 against the St. Louis Cardinals, and got swept by the White Sox in 2 frames 0-2, and blanked by these same Cubs in 2 0-2.  Pit is the pits.   As this is being written the Pirates are toweling off at Wrigley Field having just lost the Friday sept 3rd day game with the CHC.  It has been a countdown for every Pirates player… June, July, August, trade deadline… etc, etc.  They all desperately want to get out of Pittsburgh and get to that beckoning offseason.  
The Cubs are rolling 7-3 over their last ten games. Notching 6 Overs, 3 Unders and 1 Push.  They have mostly been getting wins off bad teams but they took one from the city rival White Sox.  They went 2-1 against the Colorado Rockies, 1-2 against the Chicago White Sox, 2-0 against the Minnesota Twins, and started this series against the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-0.    


Offensive Analysis

These are both bad teams.  The pirates on paper are worse for sure, but they are both bad.  At this time of the year… they are both doing little chemistry experiments.  Calling guys up to fill holes in the line-up, calling guys up to make them a starter and see how they handle the mound with Major League Pressure.  In the Cubs case they picked up some odds and ends pieces from their massive cost cutting, player moving, and prospect hoarding moves pulled off at the trade deadline.  The result for both teams is chaos.  They lose or win based on minor league pitching match-ups.  In fact I couldn’t find Over/Under numbers right away for this one because the boys with the cigars in dark rooms are still crunching numbers from the game that was just played. Trying to make sense of yet another TBD pitching announcement.

Defensive Analysis

The Pirates will be pitching TBD.  The season record for the Pirates implies it would be an improvement to call a guy up from triple-A and put him out there.  Most likely though this is a bullpen game.  They’ll start whoever wasn’t burned in their first 2 losses against the Cubs and see what they can do playing tag all day long.
The Cubs will start big dog Kyle Hendricks.  The right-handed pitcher is 14-6, 4.43 ERA, 117 strikeouts in 156 ip, 1.34 WHIP.  The 31 year old has been throwing heat in the majors since his debut in 2014.  He’s a career 83-54 guy with a 3.29 ERA.  “Hendo” was drafted by the Rangers in 2011 but has done all his throwing for the Cubs over his 8 seasons.  He will be better than whoever TBD is for the Pirates.


Pirates vs Cubs Prediction

Our prediction for the Saturday September 4th game  is  Cubs 5 -  Pirates 1

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MLB Betting Trends

The Pirates are 20-48 in road games.
The Pirates are 18-35 in day games.
The Pirates O/U record on the road is 29-33-6.
The Cubs are 35-32 at home.
The Cubs are 26-33 in day games.
The O/U for Cubs home games is 33-29-5.

Key Injuries

Pirates:  Ke’Bryan Hayes 3B, (hand) Day to Day, Henry Davis C (oblique) will miss rest of season.
Cubs: Nico Hoerner SS, (oblique) 10DAY IL,  Wilson Contreras C (knee) 10DAY IL

Players to Watch

Pirates-  Bryan Reynolds.  Hitting .299, with 21 homers,  77 RBI’s, and 74 runs scored.  If you get conned into watching a Pirates game… he is pretty much the show.
Cubs-  Kris Bryant… no he was traded.  Anthony Rizzo… no he was traded.  That trade deadline emptied the Cubs of whatever quality players there were.  A couple of guys are left clinging to their sanity as the team free-falls into nothingness…. You could watch Wilson Contreras. He's a good hitter… wait he’s on the 10 Day IL?

Notable Quotes

"Eventually, I'm going to get hot,...The biggest thing is just swing decision and not missing the pitches that's in the zone." -Pirates player, Anthony Alford who hit 2 home runs in a losing effort against the cubs Friday afternoon.

"I didn't stick around to find out. ... At this point in time, your guess is as good as mine," - Cubs Bench coach Andy Green after getting kicked out.  He was acting manager because the Cubs manager and General manager are both out with Covid.  I’m told the ball boy took over.
Starting Lineups
C. Tucker, SS
B. Gamel, RF
B. Reynolds, CF
C. Moran, 1B
K. Newman, 2B
M. Perez, C
A. Alford, LF
H. Park, 3B
S. Brault, P
M. Hermosillo, LF
F. Schwindel, 1B
P. Wisdom, 3B
M. Duffy, 2B
I. Happ, RF
A. Romine, C
A. Rivas, LF
S. Alcantara, SS
A. Mills, P
Statistical Leaders
Batting Average:  A Frazier (.324)
Home Runs:  B Reynolds (21)
RBI:  B Reynolds (77)
Stolen Bases: G Polanco (14)
Wins:  J Brubaker (5)
Saves:  R Rodriguez (14)
Batting Average:  Iann Happ (.208)
Home Runs:  P Wisdom (25)
Stolen Bases:  Javy Baez (13)
Wins: K Hendricks (14)
Saves:  C Kimbrel (23)
ERA:  K Hendricks (4.43)
Pirates:  Derek Shelton
Cubs:  Out with Covid

Weather Forecast

Scattered showers, precipitation 30%, Humidity 74%, 11mph winds.  High of 76*.
Showers mean a wet field which means a squirrely ball. 

James Q

About the Author:

James Q. has been involved with sports and gambling his entire life. A former division 1 scholarship basketball player, James understands sports (and especially basketball) inside-and-out. Following his basketball playing days, James parlayed his gambling skills into a semi-pro poker career. James resides in Los Angeles, and especially loves the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Rams, and Los Angeles Dodgers. And when he isn't betting on sports (and writing about it), James can be found performing stand-up comedy on the Sunset Strip.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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