The Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs play in the second of a four game set on Tuesday, September 25t, 2018 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois.

The Cubs entered the series 2.5 games up on the Brewers and closing in on a third straight National League Central title. But the Pirates played the spoilers’ role to the tee, winning 5-1, helping Milwaukee cut Chicago’s lead to just 1.5 games.

Out Of The Race

At 78-76, the Pittsburgh Pirates are already out of the playoff race and are just wrapping up their 2018 campaign. But even if they have already been eliminated, the Pirates have been playing well as of late, winning six of their last eight games overall heading into this four game set with the Cubs.

Chris Archer gets the nod to start on top of the mound for the Pirates. The 29 year old right hander from Raleigh, North Carolina has started a total of 26 games this season. Archer has posted a record of 5-8 this season with an ERA of 4.49 and a WHIP of 1.39. He is 1-1 in four starts for the month of September 2018.

In his most recent outing, Archer got the victory as Pittsburgh beat the Kansas City Royals 2-1 on September 19th. Archer allowed just one run on six hits and one walk with eight strikeouts in seven innings pitched.

It was without doubt Archer’s best outing since coming over from Tampa Bay. Although he’s struggled in a Pittsburgh uniform, Archer has become more comfortable with his new team recently as he’s posted quality starts in three out of his last four assignments while recording a K:BB ratio of 27:7 in a total of 24 innings.

What’re the Odds?

Pittsburgh Pirates vs Chicago Cubs 9/25/18 Odds
Odds: Pirates +123, Cubs -133
Odds from as of 9/24/18

Hanging On To The Lead

Heading to this series, the Chicago Cubs are 2.5 games up on the Milwaukee Brewers in the race for the National League Central title. With all of their remaining games to be played at home, the Cubs hope they can hang on to the lead.

For the Cubs, it will be Mike Montgomery who will make his 18th start of the season on Tuesday. The 29 year old left hander has an ERA of 3.75 and a WHIP of 1.33 while posting a record of 5-5 in a total of 36 games pitched.  As a starter, Montgomery is 5-4 with an ERA of 3.35.

In his last outing, the Cubs beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-1 and Montgomery got the victory after allowing just one run on four hits and a walk while striking out eight batters across six innings. It was the first time since August 7 where Montgomery pitched for at least six innings while his 8 strikeouts was a season high for him.

Against the Pirates this season, Montgomery is 2-0 with an ERA of 2.63 in two starts, allowing four runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in a total of 13.2 innings pitched.

Who Wins?

Entering this series, the Cubs are 45-16 in their last 61 games against teams with a losing record, are 23-8 in their last 31 games against right handers and are 10-4 in their last 14 games at home.  Chicago is also 4-1 in Montgomery’s last 5 starts. On the other hand, the Pirates are just 6-21 in their last 27 road games against a right handed starter. Pittsburgh is also winless in Chris Archer’s last four road games started, winless in Archer’s last four games pitched against teams with winning records and 2-5 in Archer’s last seven starts overall.

Betting Prediction

Spoilers are always dangerous in any sport but in this case, the Cubs have been solid at home with a 47-27 record. They are the better team this season and they have the better pitcher starting on top of the hill. Montgomery is 2-0 against the Pirates this season and the Cubs have won seven out of their last 10 games.
Prediction: Chicago Cubs -140

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