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Chi Cubs vs. Pittsburgh,
07/04/2019 16:05 EDT,
Score: 11 - 3
Money Line: -115 Chi Cubs
8* Chi Cubs (4:05 ET): What's happened to the Cubs in this series is a little shocking, at least from where I sit. They've lost three in a row to the Pirates, a team that I'd been mostly fading over the last 30 days or so. The primary reason I'd soured on the Bucs was their run differential. While the club has somehow always been able to stay withing a few games of .500, the bottom line is they've been outscored by quite a bit here in 2019. Even after winning six of eight, which has improved their YTD scoring differential by 38 runs, they are still -39 for the year, third worst in the NL and easily worst in the Central Division.
The Cubs have the Central's best run differential (+46) yet somehow trail a Milwaukee team that is -6 on the year. A big part of that has been the Cubs' struggles on the road as they're now 16-26 away from Wrigley for the season, including 13 of their last 16. Last night's 6-5 loss came in the most excruciating way possible as the Pirates rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth. While it's not a "must win" game for the Cubs today (it's only July 4th after all), I expect them to place the utmost importance on winning today. They need a win pretty badly right now.
To get that win, they'll hand the baseball to Jose Quintana. The last time the Cubs won a game happened to come w/ Quintana on the mound. He threw six shutout innings against Cincinnati on 6/29. That may have been Quintana's first win since May 5th, but he has a 2.31 ERA in six previous turns vs. Pittsburgh. The Pirates go w/ Jordan Lyles here. Somehow, Lyles' last three starts have all come against Milwaukee. All ended up as losses for the Bucs. He finished w/ a 6.00 ERA and 1.667 WHIP. 8* Chi Cubs