The Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates square off on Thursday with first pitch set for 12:35 p.m. ET. The game takes place at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PA and will be available to watch on ESPN+. Justin Steele is set to take the mound for the Cubs, while Jose Quintana gets the nod for the Pirates.
The Cubs have had an extremely disappointing season as they sit at 26-43 after losing seven of their last 10 games. Heading into the season, it was expected that the Cubs would have some struggles. They will be one of the big sellers at the trade deadline this season. Ian Happ has been the Cubs’ leading hitter with a .291 average, eight home runs, and 34 runs batted in. On the mound this season, Justin Steele has struggled as he’s 2-5 with a 4.27 ERA. However, in the month of June, Steele has been great as he’s pitched 19 innings giving up just four earned runs.
While the Pirates haven’t been great this year, it seems that they have taken a step forward in their rebuild as they’ve been much more competitive than usual. Just a few days ago, the Pirates called up Oneil Cruz which was exciting for the fans, as he is a top-three prospect in the organization. On the mound, José Quintana has been decent this season, with a 1-4 record with a 3.66 ERA.
Cubs vs. Pirates
Pitchers: Justin Steele vs. Jose Quintana
First pitch: 12:35 p.m. ET
Cubs local broadcast: Marquee Sports Network
Pirates local broadcast: AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh
Live stream: WatchESPN, ESPN app with an ESPN+ subscription
Odds, picks & predictions
Run Line: Cubs -1.5
Run total: 8.5
Moneyline odds: Cubs -120, Pirates +100
Moneyline pick: Pirates +100
While Justin Steele has pitched great this month, I think Jose Quintana is the better pitcher and expect Quintana to win the battle tonight. Coming off a big loss, I expect a bounce-back game from Pittsburgh tonight.
Player prop pick: Ke’Bryan Hayes over 1.5 total bases (+105)
In his career against Justin Steele, Hayes is 1-1 with a double. Hayes has been much better against left-handed pitching this season as he’s hitting .338 with a home run and seven extra-base hits. While I expect the Pirates to win, their best hitter will need to play well.
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