MLB picks: Cubs vs. Pirates, Astros vs. Mariners (Sept. 21)
The MLB regular season is winding down, but there are still some good betting opportunities to be found. Here are the two wisest wagers on the diamond for Monday night.
Chicago Cubs (31-22) at Pittsburgh Pirates (15-38), 7:05 p.m. ET
Mon, September 21 2020, 11:05 PM
PIT Pirates[J. Brubaker]
CHI Cubs[J. Lester]
Bettors should expect few runs to cross the plate over the first five innings of this series-opening clash at PNC Park between the Cubs and Pirates.
Jon Lester (2-2, 4.91 ERA) gets the starting nod for Chicago, and while his results in two starts against Pittsburgh in 2020 have been a mixed bag (one run allowed over six frames on Aug. 2, five runs allowed over 5 1/3 innings on Sept. 1), his track record against this club is solid. From 2018 to 2019, Lester went 7-1 over 11 starts against the Pirates with a 3.12 ERA. Pittsburgh enters Monday night having lost 12 of their last 13 games while plating a woeful 2.38 runs per contest.
JT Brubaker (1-2, 4.79 ERA) counters for the Pirates, and he’s given up two earned runs or fewer in three of his last four starts. That includes his five innings of work against Chicago on Sept. 3 in which he held the Cubs to one run. Brubaker also shut this club out over three frames on Aug. 1. Chicago’s offense has looked shaky of late, scoring only five runs over their last four games.
Houston Astros (27-26) at Seattle Mariners (23-30), 9:10 p.m. ET
Tue, September 22 2020, 1:10 AM
SEA Mariners[M. Gonzales]
HOU Astros[L. McCullers]
The moneyline odds on the Astros this Monday night look generous as they face a favorite foe in the Mariners’ Marco Gonzales.
Gonzales struggled in his lone start against Houston this season, allowing three earned runs in just 4 1/3 innings. That continued a disturbing trend for the Colorado-born southpaw – over the last two seasons, Gonzales went 0-4 over six starts against the Astros with a 7.62 ERA. Look for outfielder Michael Brantley – 5-for-14 (.357) off Gonzales and batting .311 in September – to have another big night. Once Gonzales is out, Houston can attack Seattle’s 19th-ranked bullpen by ERA (4.80) over the last seven days.
Lance McCullers Jr. (3-2, 4.87 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Astros, and he’s fresh off seven innings of shutout baseball against the Rangers last Wednesday. McCullers has been highly efficient in two starts against the Mariners this year, producing a 3.09 ERA and .200 opponent batting average over 11 2/3 innings of work. He’s backed by a Houston bullpen that’s tied for third in the majors by ERA over the last seven days at 1.93.