Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs Pick – MLB May 17, 2022

The Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs are amidst a three-game series at Wrigley Field. Following a 9-0 win for the Cubs last night, the Pirates will look for the same form they had against the Dodgers.

The Pirates had their best series of the season against the Dodgers last week. They won two of three games in a surprising upset at PNC Park. Pittsburgh followed up with a four-game split against the Cincinnati Reds.

The Pirates are just looking for positive signs and progress after a 61-101 campaign in 2021. They went just 19-41 during the shortened Covid-19 season in 2020.

Pittsburgh has shown some decent signs thus far in the early stages of the 2022 campaign. They aren’t ready to play with the top teams in the National League, but the rebuilding process appears to be going fine.

The Pirates are currently still in a rebuilding phase after blowing things up after the Andrew McCutchen era.

This Cubs team isn’t hot stuff, either. They aren’t looking at winning a championship this season. The Cubs are retooling their roster and hope to stay competitive, but it could be a few years for them.

Chicago is in good form recently, as they have won three of their last four outings. The Cubs enter on a three-game winning streak, with back-to-back wins against the Diamondbacks and then 9-0 last night.

J.T. Brubaker and Keegan Thompson are on the mound to open this one at Wrigley tonight. Head below for our free Pirates vs. Cubs pick on May 17, 2022.

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs Live Betting Odds:

The following odds are courtesy of Bovada:
Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Pittsburgh Pirates +1.5 (-175) +121 Over 7.5 (-110)
Chicago Cubs -1.5 (+150) -144 Under 7.5 (-110)
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Team Data Pittsburgh Pirates Chicago Cubs
Overall Record 15-20 14-20
Away/Home Record 6-10 5-11
Batting Average .225 .236
Batting Average Away/Home .218 .234
Runs Per 9 3.49 4.20
Team ERA 4.74 3.94
Team ERA Away/Home 5.51 3.64

Pirates vs. Cubs Prediction:

The Cubs have been pleased with what they’ve seen from Keegan Thompson so far this season. He’s been used primarily as a reliever out of the bullpen, but had a bit of experience as a starter in his rookie campaign.

Thompson made his first appearance in the major leagues last season. He held up well as a rookie with a 3.38 ERA and 1.48 WHIP.

Thompson had six starts last season and did pretty well in his first major league experience. He’s opened this season as a reliever and deserved a start following a hot start this season.

The 27-year-old has an ERA of 1.67 and a 1.07 WHIP across seven outings as a reliever and one start across 27 innings. He is coming off a strong performance versus a tough San Diego offense.

The Padres notched 5 hits and 2 earned runs against Thompson in a 7-5 win for the Cubs.

Thompson most certainly deserves another start, and this time he gets an easier matchup than the Padres. The Pirates are 27th in the majors, with 3.50 runs per 9 innings. They are 23rd with a team batting average of .225.

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs Betting Trends:


  • Record (Last 10): 5-5
  • 3-8 overall in their previous 11 games versus the NL Central
  • 5-15 overall in their previous 20 games at Wrigley Field
  • 0-4 overall in their previous four games on a Tuesday
  • 6-14 overall in their previous 20 games versus a right-handed starter
  • 19-51 overall in their previous 70 games as an underdog on the road


  • Record (Last 10): 5-5
  • 4-1 overall in their previous five games
  • 15-5 overall in their previous 20 games versus the Pirates at Wrigley Field
  • 12-5 overall in their previous 17 games versus the Pirates
  • 0-4 overall in their previous four games on a Tuesday
  • UNDER is 5-2 in their previous seven games versus the Pirates

  • The Cubs don’t have the best offense, but they’ve shown more consistency and life than the Pirates. Chicago is 15th with 4.24 runs per 9 innings and a .236 batting average for 13th in the major leagues. At home, the Cubs have scored 4.93 runs per 9 frames.

    J.T. Brubaker is looking for a big 2022 campaign. He’s in his third season with major league experience and the Pirates want to see improvement. That hasn’t been the case.

    Brubaker finished with an ERA of 5.36 and a 1.29 WHIP in his first full season in 2021. He’s on a similar path this season, as Brubaker enters with a 5.34 ERA and 1.38 WHIP in 31 innings of work.

    The Cubs don’t have the best team on paper, but they’re playing with confidence at the moment. Thompson is especially feeling motivated and comfortable on the mound right now.

    Consider playing the Cubs to win this one. It should be closer than a 9-0 game, but the Cubs should win their fourth in a row.


    Pirates vs. Cubs Pick
Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of TheSportsGeek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at TheSportsGeek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, NHL, and horse racing. Prior to writing for TheSportsGeek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily only at TheSportsGeek.

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