The Chicago Cubs are home to open the second half of the season and look to start widening their lead over the rest of the division when they face the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday. The Cubs (47-43) have had plenty of success against the Pirates (44-45) over the past several years, winning the last four season series against them. Pittsburgh, however, has played well on the road, going 5-5 in its last 10 away from home and is 22-24 this season. The game is scheduled to start at 2:20 p.m. ET from Wrigley Field, where Chicago is 6-4 in its last 10 home games against the Pirates. The Cubs are favored at -167 on the money line, meaning a $167 wager would net $100, in the latest Pirates vs. Cubs odds, up from an open of -159. The over-under, or total number of runs Vegas expects to be scored, is 9.5. You'll want to see the MLB predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model before entering any Pirates vs. Cubs picks of your own.
This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, entered Week 16 of the MLB season on a sizzling 18-6 run on top-rated MLB money line picks. Its top-rated money-line picks have now returned almost $1,700 on the season for $100 bettors, and anybody who has been following it is way up.
Now the model has dialed in on Cubs vs. Pirates. We can tell you it's leaning over, and it also says one side of the money line has all the value. You can only see that pick at SportsLine.
The model knows the Cubs, who lead the all-time series against the Pirates in games played in Chicago, 657-590, also have a statistical edge over Pittsburgh in a number of categories, including on-base percentage (.336 to .327), slugging percentage (.452 to .437), runs scored (455 to 432), home runs (140 to 98), total bases (1,372 to 1,369), RBIs (438 to 425), ERA (4.09 to 4.91), walks allowed (310 to 323), opponents' batting average (.248 to .263) and WHIP (1.32 to 1.43).
A number of Chicago hitters have had their way against Pirates pitching, including catcher Willson Contreras, who went 6-for-13 with two doubles, one home run and four RBIs in its last series against Pittsburgh prior to the All-Star break. Third baseman Kris Bryant is 8-for-24 with three doubles, one homer and three RBIs this season against the Pirates.
But just because Chicago is ahead in the standings does not mean it is the best value on the Cubs vs. Pirates money line.
That's because the Pirates have been on a roll, going 5-2 in July. Right-hander Chris Archer (3-6, 5.49 ERA) gets the start. He faced the Cubs on July 3 at PNC Park and allowed three runs in five innings. He walked three and struck out eight.
All-Star first baseman Josh Bell has hit Cubs pitching well and is 6-for-15 with a double, four homers and 11 RBIs in his last four games against Chicago. Also pounding Cubs pitching is second baseman Adam Frazier, who is 10-for-15 with five doubles, one homer and six RBIs in his last four games against them.
So who wins Pirates vs. Cubs? And which side of the money line has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Pirates vs. Cubs money line you should be all over Friday, all from the advanced model on an 18-6 roll, and find out.