Alec Mills is one of only two pitchers in baseball to throw a no-hitter this season. The Pittsburgh Pirates are one of only two teams in baseball to be on the receiving end of a no-hitter this season. They come into Thursdays game with just 17 wins, and with avoiding the embarrassment of fewer than 20 wins as their sole remaining objective, theyll face Millswho has shown that he can be as good as it gets on any given day. Mills has been an important rotation piece for the Chicago Cubs down the stretch; he has gone 5-4 with a 4.14 ERA in his 10 starts, and most importantly hes averaging almost 6.0 innings per game...a strong sign for the postseason. Pirates starter Chad Kuhl has struggled with walks, which more often than not have led to runs. He has won just one of his eight starts, so dont expect him to win another one against the top team in the division. Go with the Cubs to bounce back.
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Chicago: Mills is one of those guys, despite a no hitter this month, is not somebody that is going to dominate. He is a groundball pitcher with a low strikeout rate, especially against lefties (16%) which is not very good.
The bats have been non existent lately, being unable to give hendricks some support last night in the second straight loss to the lowly Pirates. Similar to yesterday, I have cubs bats I have 8 guys out of the first 10 highest ratings and 2 pirates with Rizzo leadint the pack.
PIT: Ill admit, I personally dont think Kuhl is very good. Hes a pretty average player. His groundball and flyball are both 40%. Hes nothing special. Has a 20% strikeout rate. Oddly enough, hes been worse against righties this year, which is sorta strange.
Im gonna go back to the well on the cubs. I like Mills ability to get gorundballs. only way pirates win games is by Home runs, which mills limits pretty well. The fact that Kuhl is worse against righties means that the backend of the lineup will have a few more opportunities to get on base while Rizzo and schwarber, who dominate righties, can get them on from a game flow perspective.
Alec Mills (4.14 ERA) gets the start for the Cubbies today - Mills gave up four runs on six hits in six innings (seven strikeouts and one walk) in a loss to Minnesota on Saturday. Including his no-hitter on Sept. 13, the righty has a 2.77 ERA this month.
Chad Kuhl (5.03 ERA) gets the nod for Pittsburgh today. Kuhl will try to finish strong after regaining his fastball command in his last start. He struck out six and walked only two while allowing five singles over five innings. He's allowed more than three earned runs only once in 10 outings this year.
Cubs -185 is pricey here considering Kuhl has improved lately and the fact that Mills was shaky his last time out giving up four runs on six hits in seven innings in a loss to the Twins. I would lean taking the plus money as a value bet here but will play the UNDER 9 here as Kuhl should do enough to limit the Cubs and the Pirates have the worse offense in the league.
The PNC Park has an open roof so weather should be considered for today's game. It will be Partly Cloudy with 33% cloud cover and a 0% chance for rain. The temperature is 73 with 59% humidity and winds at 6 mph SW.