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It's a full slate today in MLB to kick off the weekend but my focus is on the 3rd game of the series between the Pirates and Cubs. Let's Break it down.
ANALYSIS

Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Prediction: Will the Cubs Continue to Struggle?

Cubs vs. Pirates Start Time and Where to Watch

  • Date: April 23, 2022
  • Game Time: 2:20 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: MLB.TV

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Cubs vs. Pirates Line Movement

Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Prediction

The Pirates have come into Wrigley Field and cooled off the Cubs as they have taken the first 2 games of the series thanks to some timely hitting. In the First game of the series, the Cubs jumped out to an early 3-0 lead but saw that quickly evaporate as Vogelbach launched a 2-run homer in the 3rd and Tsutsugo doubled with the bases loaded and 2 outs in the 5th to take the lead, then they never looked back.

The Pirates were the ones to jump out to an early lead in game 2 before the Cubs battled back to tie it but ultimately the Pirate's pitching staff held them down and the Pirates started this series with two very impressive and close wins by the score of 4-3 and 4-2. The Cubs were in a good bounce-back spot yesterday but one reason why yesterday's matchup may have gone awry for them is that it was the same pitching matchup as their previous series. Smyly faced off against Quintana in Pittsburgh and the Cubs covered F5 and won the game as Smyly was electric and Suzuki launched 2 homers to propel them to a 2-1 win. Now fast forward to yesterday. The Cubs are back at home and are heavy favorites with the same pitching matchup, Smyly versus Quintana. When we see two of the exact same pitching matchups in a small window, they usually flip flop in results. Smyly and the Cubs were victorious in the first matchup and Quintana and the Pirates won the rematch yesterday.

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Why did I just explain that scenario? Because the exact same scenario holds true in today's game as well. Last week in Pittsburgh, Kyle Hendricks got absolutely shelled against the Pirates as he gave up 7 hits, 6 earned runs, and 4 walks in just 3 2/3rds innings. It was one of Hendrick's worst career performances against the Pirates and I expect a much better and focused effort from him today.

Zach Thompson was the starter in that game and is again the starter against the Cubs today. Thompson is a solid pitcher who was acquired from the Marlins and while he had a solid start against the Cubs in his first outing, it was not a dominant performance. He allowed 5 hits and issued a walk in just 4 innings of work and went deep into a lot of counts as the Cubs seemed to see the ball well against him. He also allowed a mammoth Homerun to Wilson Contreras and can be prone to allowing long balls as his fastball lacks movement at times. Thompson's struggles continued into his second start as he was roughed up by the Brewers as he allowed 6 earned runs with the big blow being a grand slam from Christian Yelich.

I think this game is going to flip the Cubs way in this same matchup between Hendricks and Thomspon just as we saw the matchup flip between Smyly and Quintana in their second head-to-head meeting last night. With that being said, I am rolling with Cubs F5 ML at -155 for 1U and Full Game -1 at -120 for 1U as well. There is a little bit of juice here, but this is a prime spot for the Cubs to win the first game of the series and a great redemption spot for Kyle Hendrick against a weak Pirates lineup.

Cubs vs. Pirates Picks

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Article Author

NCAABNBAMLB

Joey has spent the last 6+ years betting on sports with a focus on basketball and baseball. Basketball is his main focus, and not many people know more about mid-major basketball than him. Whether you need advice on a Saturday night primetime game or a Tuesday night back-alley SWAC/MEAC game, Joey is your man.

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