Chi. Cubs Cubs vs Pittsburgh Pirates Picks and Predictions May 19th 2024

Chi. Cubs Cubs vs Pittsburgh Pirates MLB Sun, May 19, 14:20 pm.
Chi. Cubs Cubs
ML: -130
2
3
Pittsburgh Pirates
ML: 110

Cubs Seek Series Split vs. Pirates After Dramatic Win

Taillon Faces His Former Team

Jameson Taillon is set to face off against his old team when he takes the mound for the Chicago Cubs in the final game of a four-game series against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates this Sunday. The Cubs are hoping to even the series after a nail-biting 1-0 victory on Saturday. In a dramatic finish, Cody Bellinger sprinted home from second base on Christopher Morel’s single in the ninth inning, marking Chicago’s second walk-off win of the season.

Shota Imanaga’s Stellar Performance

Shota Imanaga delivered another exceptional performance, striking out seven batters over seven sharp innings. With a 0.84 ERA, Imanaga has set a record for the lowest ERA in a pitcher’s first nine career starts in major league history.

“We’re lucky to witness this,” said Cubs manager Craig Counsell. “Watching him pitch has been pure joy. His skills, his competitiveness, and his pitch-making ability are just outstanding.”

Counsell hopes Taillon (3-1, 1.61 ERA) can bring the same energy. Taillon, who played for the Pirates from 2016-2019, won 29 games during his time there.

Jameson Taillon’s Challenge

The 32-year-old Taillon had a rough outing against the Atlanta Braves last Tuesday, giving up seven runs (two earned) over four innings in a 7-0 loss. Despite this, he has allowed only seven extra-base hits in five starts this season, though four of those were home runs.

Michael A. Taylor has struggled against Taillon, managing just one hit in 15 at-bats. Taillon holds a 1-1 record with a 6.35 ERA in two career starts against his former team.

Pirates’ Pitcher Mitch Keller

Pittsburgh will counter with right-hander Mitch Keller (4-3, 3.93 ERA), who had a strong showing against the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday. Keller allowed eight hits over six scoreless innings in an 8-6 win. He struck out seven batters without issuing a walk.

Keller has pitched five or more innings in 40 consecutive starts, the longest active streak in the majors. Ian Happ has had success against Keller, batting .409 with three homers. Keller has a 4-4 record with a 4.99 ERA in 11 career games against the Cubs.

Nico Hoerner’s Injury Update

The Cubs are keeping an eye on second baseman Nico Hoerner, who has missed the last five games due to left hamstring tightness.

“We’re hoping he keeps improving,” Counsell said. “He’s made some progress. It’s really day-to-day, based on how he’s feeling.”

Pittsburgh’s Struggles and Potential Comeback

The Pirates are looking to bounce back after being shut out by Imanaga and the Cubs on Saturday. Imanaga threw 68 of his 88 pitches for strikes, keeping Pittsburgh hitters off balance.

“This guy’s a nightmare for hitting coaches,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “His fastball isn’t the fastest, but it’s effective. He moves the ball around well, and his splitter is top-notch.”

Catchers in Focus

Pittsburgh catcher Joey Bart had one of the team’s four hits on Saturday and was praised by pitcher Bailey Falter for his game-calling.

“I think Joey called a phenomenal game,” Falter said. “We tried to attack these guys as much as possible, and Joey’s calls were spot on.”

Conclusion

The series finale between the Cubs and Pirates promises to be an exciting matchup. The Cubs are aiming for a series split with Taillon facing his former team, while the Pirates are looking to rebound from their shutout loss. Fans can expect a thrilling game as both teams give it their all.

Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping
Sun, May 19, 08:05 am.
spread
moneyline
over/under
Chi. Cubs Cubs
-1.5
155
-130
O 7.5
-120
Pittsburgh Pirates
+1.5
-190
110
U 7.5
100
Marco D'Angelo | Handicapper

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Marco D’Angelo has been a professional sports handicapper and bettor since 1980.

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