Chicago @ PITTSBURGH
PITTSBURGH +125 over Chicago

Pinnacle +121 BET365 +125 SportsInteraction +119 BetOnlin+120 Bookmaker +120

Posted at 12:45 PM EST. 

PITTSBURGH +125 over Chicago

6:30 PM EST. The Pirates were abused this past weekend in Atlanta, where they were outscored 33-3 in three games. To suggest the Pirates stock is low coming into this series with the Cubs would be an understatement. The abuse may not even stop here, as Cody Ponce (RHP - PIT) will make his season debut and he’s no prospect.

Ponce started three games for the Bucs in 2020, with decent skills other than giving up five home runs in 17 IP. The 6'6", 255-pound right-hander has faced 53 batters in Triple-A so far this season, striking out 11 of them and walking only four, but also giving up two more jacks. With his height, Ponce throws from a downhill plane that lets his 92-94 mph fastball play up. He has three other pitches in his regular repertoire: a cutter and a curve that are both average, and a changeup that lags behind. As seen in his home run issue in the upper levels, he can get too much of the heart of the plate at times. He's shown decent control, and he strikes guys out but he’s a 27-year old career minor league so do not expect anything, instead, hope that he gives the Pirates some effective innings.

This wager is not about getting behind Ponce. We’ll live with whatever Ponce delivers. This wager is about fading a starter that cannot be priced in this range on the road when his chances of losing are always greater than his chances of winning. Jake Arrieta (RHP - CHC) worked six innings to gain a win in his May 14 rotation return. His underlying skills and indicators suggest he will eventually fizzle after a hot start. A low 7.4% swing & miss rate, subpar first-pitch strike rate, a depressed hit rate and a 5.98 xERA say the time is now to sell Arrieta, as a reckoning seems imminent. . As Arriets’s swings-and-misses dry up, his strikeouts are evaporating. That leaves him as a sinkerballer that gets hammered and also great fade material when he’s priced like he’s Lucas Giolito. Ridiculous.

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Our Pick

PITTSBURGH +125 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.50)

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