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Picks, predictions for Cubs vs. Pirates on Sunday, August 27

Chris Landers shares their top picks on DraftKings Sportsbook for Cubs-Pirates on Sunday, August 27.

Seiya Suzuki of the Chicago Cubs reacts at second base after hitting a two-run RBI double in the ninth inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on August 26, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

After Jordan Wicks carried them to a win his first MLB start, the Chicago Cubs (68-61) will look to keep pace in the NL Wild Card race and nab a series win in the rubber match against the Pittsburgh Pirates (58-72) on Sunday afternoon. First pitch from PNC Park is set for 1:35 p.m. ET. Javier Assad (2-2, 3.13 ERA) will go for Chicago, while Pittsburgh counters with lefty Bailey Falter (0-7, 5.13).

The Cubs enter as narrow -118 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the Pirates at -102. The run total is set at 9.

Cubs-Pirates picks: Sunday, August 27

Injury report

Cubs

Out: SP Marcus Stroman (right rib cartilage fracture), RP Brad Boxberger (right forearm strain)

Pirates

Out: OF/C Henry Davis (right hand strain), RP Carmen Mlodzinski (right elbow soreness), RP Angel Perdomo (left elbow discomfort), SS Oneil Cruz (fractured left fibula)

Starting pitchers

Javier Assad vs. Bailey Falter

Assad has been a god-send for a beleaguered Cubs rotation, filling in for an injured Stroman with a 2.86 ERA over four outings so far this month. His sinkers in, cutters away routine is keeping hitters off-balance (81st percentile in average exit velocity), and he throws a ton of strikes and lets Chicago’s very strong infield defense make plays behind him. The righty held the Tigers to two runs over 5.1 innings last weekend.

Falter’s season-long numbers are ugly, but the lefty has pitched much better of late, with a 3.26 ERA for the month and just two combined runs allowed with 13 Ks in 11.1 innings over his last two starts. That stretch has coincided with improved fastball velocity and good pitch separation with his curve, slider and changeup, avoiding the heart of the plate and earning easy outs.

Over/Under pick

The Cubs racked up 10 runs in Saturday’s win, but this has been a bottom-five offense in baseball over the last couple of weeks, and Falter’s current form makes him a far tougher challenge than rookie righty (Osvaldo Bido) the team faced yesterday. If Assad churns out yet another quality start, Falter should do more than enough to keep us under this total — Friday resulted in a 2-1 final, after all.

Pick: Under 9

Moneyline pick

For as solid as Falter has been of late, Assad is still the more trustworthy option on the mound, and Chicago has the far deeper and more dangerous lineup — they deserve to be more significant favorites here even with their shaky recent form.

Pick: Cubs