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The Pirates head to Wrigley Field to battle the Chicago Cubs in a quick two-game set beginning Monday night. Handicapper Ben Rajavuori is here with his best bet for this NL Central clash.

Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Odds, Picks, Prediction: Can We Count on Willson Contreras and the Cubs?

The Cubs and Pirates meet for a two-game series in Wrigley Field, with the first pitch being thrown at 8:05 EST. The short series comes for the Cubs amid a four-game win streak, which is a sigh of relief in the middle of a horrible season for the club. The Pirates are coming off a series loss at home against the Marlins and now take the road to try to avoid back-to-back losses. Who will start the series off with a win?

Cubs vs. Pirates Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

  • Date: July 22, 2022
  • Game Time: 8:10 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: MLB.TV

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Cubs vs. Pirates Line Movement

Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Prediction

Over their last five games, the Cubs have looked like the team Cubs fans have wanted to see all season. The Cubs have yet to win five games in a row this season, and they are in a position to finally do it tonight. The Cubs took the road after the all-star break and came out of the break with new life, sweeping the Phillies in a three-game set. Their offense was clicking, and their pitching was holding the Phillies down. The Cubs ended the first half on a good note as well, besting the NL East's best team, the Mets, in a 3-2 home win. The Pirates lead the season series 8-5, so the Cubs have work to do in this series to get closer to even. Leading the charge for Chicago tonight is Adrian Sampson.

Adrian Sampson is 0-1 on the season with a 3.34 ERA. The Cubs are 3-2 in games started by Sampson, and they have gone 3-1 in Sampson's July starts so far, including wins over the Red Sox, Brewers, and Mets. Sampson throws mostly sinkers from his arsenal, and he uses the pitch in combination with his four-seam fastball to get lots of pop-ups, which is what the Pirates hitters do most often. When the Pirates make contact, 30% of their hits are pop-ups, higher than their ground ball and line drive rate. The Wind is also blowing in from center field at Wrigley Field today, meaning the wind should kill any balls in the air instead of carrying them. I expect Sampson to be able to hold down an uninspiring Pirates lineup, who also just traded away Daniel Vogelbach, their RBI leader.

JT Brubaker starts for the Pirates tonight. Brubaker is 2-8 with a 4.02 ERA on the season. The Pirates are 7-11 in games started by Brubaker, but they are 2-9 in road games started by Brubaker. Going back over his last 27 road starts, the Pirates are 3-24 on the road with Brubaker starting on the mound. The Pirates just aren't an excellent team on the road, though, so it's hard to blame Brubaker entirely. One of those two road wins was a start against the Cubs, however. Brubaker started against the Cubs on the road in his fourth start of the year, and he went only three innings with one earned run, but the Pirates won 4-3. Then, in May, Brubaker was in Wrigley Field once again, and the Cubs got to him, putting up six runs in 5.2 innings en route to a 7-0 win. This will be Brubaker's fourth start against the Cubs this season, and there is a familiarity there that gives the Cubs an advantage here. The Pirates have seen Sampson much less. Brubaker's main pitch in his arsenal is also a sinker, a pitch he throws 36% of the time, and it also happens to be the pitch the Cubs hit the best.

The Cubs may finally be starting to figure things out, and they have looked excellent since the return from the all-star break. Sampson has been decent for them, and they have a winning record in games he starts. The Pirates are abysmal on the road, especially when Brubaker starts, and the Cubs have hit him hard already this season. I expect the Cubs to show up tonight at home and take the series opener.

Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Pick

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Article Author


Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.


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