Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates: Preview, Predictions and Picks for May 12, 2024

Published on:
May 12, 2024 6:11 AM
The Chicago Cubs, sitting atop a 23-17 record, travel to PNC Park to take on the Pirates in a crucial Sunday afternoon matchup. Pittsburgh, 18-22 on the season, looks to even the series at 2-1 after splitting the first two games. First pitch is set for 1:35 PM on May 12, as the Cubs aim to build on their 10-11 road record.
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Chicago Cubs
Pittsburgh Pirates

Cubs vs Pirates starting pitchers

In the upcoming matchup between the Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates, we're set to see a pitching duel between Kyle Hendricks of the Cubs and Bailey Falter of the Pirates. Hendricks has had a challenging season, reflected in his high ERA of 12.00 and a WHIP of 2.10, signaling command and control issues, as he has yet to record a win. On the other end, Falter presents a more stable option for the Pirates, with a respectable ERA of 4.34 and a WHIP of 1.02, alongside 26 strikeouts. His performance has been more reliable, marking him as potentially the stronger pitcher in this contest, especially considering Hendricks' struggle to mitigate home runs and high hit rates this season.

Cubs vs Pirates game preview

When looking towards the upcoming matchup between the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cubs arrive with some balanced offensive statistics that could play into their favor. With Kyle Hendricks likely taking the mound, the Cubs will rely on his experience and skill to manage the Pirates' lineup. Offensively, Chicago has shown a penchant for consistency in getting on base, ranking tied 3rd in walks drawn, which complements their upper-middle-tier performance in runs scored and home runs. Mike Tauchman and Christopher Morel have been vital with the bat, with Morel leading in both home runs and RBIs but facing a hurdle with day-to-day knee soreness. Despite a lower batting average rank of 18th in the league, their strategic base running and ability to face many pitches (5th in pitches faced) give them time at the plate to make impactful plays.

On the other side, the Pittsburgh Pirates will look to shake off some of the offensive struggles that have plagued them this season, entering the game with lower rankings in runs scored and batting average. Pitching duties are expected to fall to Bailey Falter, who will need a strong performance to keep the Pirates competitive. The team has shown some resilience in plate discipline, tied for 3rd in walks, similar to the Cubs, but the lack of converting these opportunities into runs remains a significant concern. Connor Joe and Oneil Cruz have been the bright spots in Pittsburgh's lineup, with Joe leading in batting average and RBIs and Cruz providing power with home runs. Defensively and on the mound, limiting opponent scoring will be crucial, given the Pirates' challenge in hitting consistently to drive in runs themselves.

Pittsburgh Pirates injuries

  • Thomas Harrington (SP): Day-To-Day
  • Ke'Bryan Hayes (3B): 10-Day-IL
  • Cristofer Melendez (SP): Out
  • Enmanuel Terrero (OF): Day-To-Day
  • Ryan Borucki (RP): 15-Day-IL

Chicago Cubs injuries

  • Kyle Hendricks (SP): 15-Day-IL
  • Christopher Morel (3B): Day-To-Day
  • Jameson Taillon (SP): Day-To-Day
  • Kohl Franklin (SP): Day-To-Day
  • Jordan Wicks (SP): 15-Day-IL

Cubs vs Pirates predictions

The Cubbies are rolling into PNC Park looking to take down those pesky Buccos, and I've got my eye on a few guys who are gonna make it happen. I'm expecting Miguel Amaya to go yard, maybe even twice, considering he's been crushing it lately. And let's not forget Cody Bellinger - dude's been on fire, smashing extra-base hits left and right. I've got him down for at least two RBIs tonight. And as for Ian Happ, I think he's due for a big game, maybe even a three-hit night. If these guys show up, it's gonna be a long night for the Pirates.

On the other side, I think Oneil Cruz is gonna be a problem for the Cubs' pitching staff. Dude's got some serious pop and I wouldn't be surprised if he takes Bailey Falter deep. Andrew McCutchen's also due for a big game, maybe a three-hit night with an RBI or two. And let's not sleep on Bryan Reynolds, who's been quietly putting together a solid season. If these guys can get going, the Pirates might just sneak out a W.

But when it's all said and done, I've got the Cubs taking this one. Hendricks might not be having his best season, but he's still a crafty vet who knows how to get outs. And with the Cubs' offense rolling like it is, I think they'll be able to overcome whatever Falter throws at them. My prediction: Cubs take it 6-4, with Amaya and Bellinger leading the charge. Book it.

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