Pirates vs Cubs Odds, Lines and Spread – April 1st

Kyle Hendricks, Starting Pitcher, Chicago Cubs

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks throws against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning of a spring training baseball game, Friday, March 26, 2021, in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

  • The Chicago Cubs are -215 for their Opening Day matchup with the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 1
  • Kyle Hendricks gets the start for the Cubs, while Chad Kuhl will take the mound for the Pirates
  • Read below for a preview and betting prediction for the game

The Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates meet on Opening Day at 2:20 pm EST. After an uninspiring offseason, which saw Yu Darvish traded to the San Diego Padres, the Cubs head into the 2021 campaign as outsiders to win the National League Central. Pittsburgh is in the depths of a rebuild, however, making Chicago the favorites according to the Pirates vs Cubs odds.

Chicago is favored at -215 on the moneyline. Kyle Hendricks gets the honor of the Opening Day start, and the veteran right-hander will be matching up with Chad Kuhl.

Pirates vs Cubs Odds

Team Runline Moneyline at FanDuel Total
Pittsburgh Pirates TBD +180 TBD
Chicago Cubs TBD -215 TBD

Odds taken as of March 31st
Chicago has won six of the last 10 meetings between the two teams. The Pirates won the final three games against the Cubs in 2020, hitting the under in all three games and covering the runline.

Hendricks Enjoys The Pirates

Hendricks has a career ERA of 3.07 against the Pirates. He’s coming off a strong 2020 campaign, having led the Majors with 0.89 walks per nine innings, and posted his best ERA (2.88) and WHIP (0.99) since 2016. In two starts against Pittsburgh last season, the 2011 draftee gave up just three earned runs in 13.2 innings.

With no Darvish, Jon Lester or Jose Quintana, the Cubs’ rotation is suddenly very reliant on Hendricks. Chicago needs All-Star level outings from the soft-throwing right-hander if they are to be a serious threat in the Central.

Projections for the season are generally kind to Hendricks. He wasn’t at his best in Spring Training, however, recording a 1.50 WHIP and giving up nine earned in just under 13 innings.

Pirates Career Stats vs Hendricks

Anthony Alford 2 1 0 0 0 .500
Adam Frazier 22 10 2 2 2 .455
Erik Gonzalez 6 0 0 0 2 .000
Ke’Bryan Hayes 7 2 1 1 3 .286
Colin Moran 22 6 1 3 4 .273
Kevin Newman 12 4 0 0 0 .333
Gregory Polanco 33 12 2 4 6 .364
Bryan Reynolds 11 0 0 0 2 .000
Jacob Stallings 14 4 0 0 4 .286

Adam Frazier was named the Pirates’ leadoff hitter for Thursday’s season opener. Frazier was red-hot in Spring Training, notching a 1.510 OPS and has a good history against Hendricks.

Uncertainty With Kuhl

It’s been a long journey back to the Majors for Kuhl. He went through Tommy John surgery in September 2018, missed the entirety of 2019, and was very carefully managed in 2020. He threw just 46.1 innings in 11 appearances in the shortened campaign.

While solid in Spring Training, Kuhl pitched only eight innings. This is a new-look Pirates staff with Chris Archer, Jameson Taillon, Trevor Williams and Joe Musgrove departing. They are leaning heavily on Kuhl to deliver, and he’s immediately under pressure.

Kuhl has struggled against Chicago throughout his career. He owns a 5.82 ERA and 1.78 WHIP across 51 innings, and those woes are reflected in the matchup numbers. Several Cubs have enjoyed success against Kuhl in the past. Jason Heyward will be hoping to build on a strong 2020, and he’s got good memories against Kuhl, batting .500 in 20 at-bats.

Cubs Career Stats vs Kuhl

Javier Baez 19 2 1 4 6 .105
David Bote 3 0 0 0 0 .000
Kris Bryant 23 9 0 0 6 .391
Willson Contreras 11 6 0 1 3 .545
Ian Happ 7 1 1 1 4 .143
Jason Heyward 20 10 1 6 1 .500
Joc Pederson 6 1 1 1 2 .167
Anthony Rizzo 24 8 2 4 4 .333
Austin Romine 1 0 0 0 0 .000
Eric Sogard 9 2 0 0 2 .222

Back The Cubs

This is going to be a long season for the Pirates. Kuhl is just below average for his career with a 96 ERA+, and his numbers against the Cubs hardly inspire confidence. Several Chicago hitters will be excited to face Kuhl again.

There’s some history of success on the Pirates against Hendricks, too. Hendricks might still be working through some rust after a disappointing Spring Training, but he’ll be locked in for this one. He dominated Pittsburgh in both games last season and could do so again here.

The Cubs could get after Kuhl early on, making them a good bet to cover.

Best Bet: Chicago Cubs, -1.5 

This article contains links to external sports betting services. SBD may receive advertising revenue from these links, however editorial has hand-picked each individual link based on relevance to the article, without influence on the coverage.

Sam Cox

NBA MLB Soccer Sports Writer

NBA MLB Soccer

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