Pirates vs. Cubs Prediction and Odds for Tuesday, May 17 (Pirates' Offensive Woes Continue)

Keegan Thompson hopes to shut the Pirates down for the second time this season
Keegan Thompson hopes to shut the Pirates down for the second time this season / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

Don't look now, but the Cubbies are heating up! After a 9-0 demolition of Pittsburgh yesterday, the 14-20 Chicago Cubs have won five of six as they host the 15-20 Pirates tonight at 7:40 p.m. EST.

The Pirates managed only three hits after being no-hit in a victory over the Reds on Sunday and are starved for offense. They'll send JT Brubaker to the mound still looking for his first victory of the campaign. Brubaker has been steady, if unspectacular, amassing a 5.34 ERA in seven outings. He's yet to throw six innings in a start, so the Pirates will likely rely heavily on their bullpen.

Chicago will lean on its relievers as well with Keegan Thompson serving as an opener. Thompson hopes to continue a stellar 2022 in which he's compiled a 1.67 ERA over eight appearances. He threw four scoreless innings against the Pirates last month and does an excellent job limiting hard contact.

Can Pittsburgh finally string some hits together or will Thompson and the Cubs shut the Pirates' lineup down once again?

Here are the odds from WynnBET to help us answer those questions and find some value in this Pirates vs Cubs matchup:

Pirates vs Cubs Odds, Run Line and Total

Run Line:

  • Pirates +1.5 (-195)
  • Cubs -1.5 (+160)


  • Pirates: +127
  • Cubs: -137


  • 7.5 (Over -105/Under -115)

Pirates vs Cubs Prediction and Pick

The Pirates' offense is a sinking ship. They have six runs in their last five games...total. Chicago scored nine yesterday, so the Cubs quite literally outproduced Pittsburgh's entire week of work with room to spare in just a couple of hours.

Things won't get easier against Keegan Thompson today. He ranks in the 85th percentile in average exit velocity and 86th percentile in expected ERA and is backed up by the National League's second-best bullpen. Last month, Thompson stifled the Pirates' lineup in four scoreless innings while striking out four.

I expect a similar performance from him today, but I also expect JT Brubaker to have success against Chicago's offense. He has a 2.77 ERA in six appearances against the Cubs and is in the 72nd percentile in expected ERA.

Chicago is 28th in OPS in May and should take a step back after yesterday's explosion. As a result, I love the under in this matchup. It's 1-5-1 when the Cubs are favored this year and 9-15-3 when the Pirates are underdogs. With this pitching matchup and struggling lineups, we should see those trends continue.

But I can't ignore the value on the Cubs either. They've covered the run line in seven straight and should scratch enough runs on the board to make it eight straight. Give me Chicago in a narrow victory somewhere in the neighborhood of 4-1.

Pick: Cubs -1.5 (+160) and Under 7.5 (-115)

Follow all of Joe Summers' betting picks here.