Don’t give up on baseball season just yet! We are steaming hot in September as the baseball season winds to a close and turning your attention to just football is going to cost you money! We picked up another big underdog winner last night when we backed the Pittsburgh Pirates as +135 road dogs. The Pirates have been red-hot and have enjoyed playing spoiler all month long, and I liked their chances against a vulnerable Cole Hamels.
I mentioned in my pick that Cole Hamels looked old and tired again and whatever spark he had gotten when he was first traded had disappeared. And Hamels disappointed again last night for the Cubs. Cole pitched six innings and allowed three runs and was charged with the loss for Chicago. The Cubs have now lost four out of the last five games that Hamels has started. The Pirates picked up another improbable win behind Jameson Taillon’s seven strong innings of work. For today’s pick, I will stay right here in Chicago as the Pirates look to play spoiler against the Cubs.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are in Chicago Tuesday looking to continue to wreak havoc in the National League Central race. The Pirates picked up the win last night against the Cubs and Chicago dropped to just a game and a half ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers for the Central Division lead. This race continues to heat up with just a couple of games left on the schedule, and the Cubs must take care of business tonight at home.
Starting tonight for the Cubs is Mike Montgomery (5-5 3.75 ERA), and for the Pirates, it is Chris Archer (5-8 4.49 ERA). The Cubs are -145 home favorites. The game total over-under is set at nine runs. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 PM PST from Wrigley Field in Chicago.
The Chicago Cubs have been basically treading water for the last three weeks. And with the Milwaukee Brewers remaining hot, we now have a close race in the NL Central. The Cubs will need to get their act together, or they run the risk of going from the best record in the National League, to playing in the wild-card game in just over a week’s time. The Cubs will turn to Mr. Reliable, Mike Montgomery, to get the job done today.
Mike Montgomery has been the everything guy for the Chicago Cubs this season. He has worked in long relief in the bullpen, he pitched late innings in close games, and he has started games. Whatever the Cubs need out of Montgomery he is right there to take care of business. His 3.75 ERA is a bit inflated by a slow start, but down the stretch, this guy has really been pitching well.
Between the bullpen and the starting rotation in August and September, Montgomery has had an ERA of just about three runs. Montgomery has one start against the Pirates this season, and he pitched six innings of one-run ball and picked up the win. The Cubs are using Montgomery as a bit of a hybrid starter/opener right now. He is generally only pitching four to five innings per start and then handing things off to the bullpen.
But he showed that he can go deeper if they need him to in his last start where he pitched six innings and allowed just one run in a win against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Cubs are hoping to get a strong effort out of Montgomery tonight and put away these pesky Pirates.
Chris Archer was the centerpiece of the Pirates trade deadline moves aimed at making a push for the playoffs. But unfortunately for Pittsburgh fans, it wasn’t enough to put them over the top this season, and with just under a week left of the season, the Pirates are out of the playoff conversation. But that hasn’t stopped them from throwing a wrench in the Central Division here down the stretch. The Pirates have recent wins over the Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers and are still playing hard despite not really playing for much.
Archer has been ok since coming over from the Tampa Bay Rays at the trade deadline. He struggled badly initially in his first several starts but has settled down some in September. That being said, he has been nowhere near as good as the Pirates hoped he would be when they brought him in to be the ace of this staff. The Pirates are just 2-5 in his last seven starts.
Yesterday I was able to scoop up a big underdog win by backing the Pirates. I think today, the Cubs get their revenge. I like Montgomery in this matchup with Archer and feel that the Cubs must know this is a must-win game for them and expect them to respond. They have had at least a couple of game cushion over the Brewers for months now, and they have seen that shrink to just a game and a half, and I expect them to do whatever it takes to win tonight.
So, I will flip the script from last night’s bet and back the Cubs here tonight as home favorites. The Cubs need this one badly, and I think they will get it done. Give me the Chicago Cubs at -145 tonight in game two at home!