Chicago Cubs vs Pittsburgh Pirates
MLB: 07.05 PM EST
May 29, 2018
The Cubs blanked Pittsburgh 7-0 on Memorial Day in the first game of a divisional matchup at PNC Park. Spot starter Mike Montgomery was brilliant for Chicago, allowing just two hits and no runs, and Cubs pitching faced just one batter more than the minimum en route to a dominant shutout performance.
Tuesday’s contest will feature a plugin starting pitcher for the other dugout, as Pittsburgh rookie Nick Kingham will make his fourth career major league start. Kingham is being called into duty in Ivan Nova’s rotation spot, as the Buccos’ Opening Day starter is on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained finger on his throwing hand. Veteran southpaw Jon Lester (4-2, 2.37 ERA) will take the hill for the Cubs, a game removed from a tough luck loss against Cleveland, in which he gave up just a run in seven innings of work, but Chicago couldn’t muster a run and fell 1-0.
The Cubs’ offense has been inconsistent in the early going, and one of the major factors is cleanup man Anthony Rizzo’s slow start (.225/.335/.389). But Rizzo homered and drove three runs on Monday, and is the NL’s runs batted in leader for the month of May. Chicago brass has often touted the first baseman as the engine that drives the Cubs offense, and if his recent run of form continues, he’s certainly surrounded by enough talent in the lineup to generate high run production. With Lester pitching his best ball of the year in recent weeks, it’s hard not to jump on what seems like a soft line from oddsmakers tonight.
Our Free MLB Pick: Chicago Cubs ML