Cubs vs. Pirates prediction and odds for Monday, June 19 (Back offense Davis' debut)

 Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Henry Davis
Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Henry Davis / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 Pittsburgh Pirates might have hit rock bottom over the weekend. A 5-2 loss on Sunday punctuated a six game losing streak that began with last week against the Chicago Cubs, but the savior might be on his way. The Pirates have called up the 2021 No. 1 overall pick, Henry Davis to make his major league debut on Monday night against Chicago.

The Cubs are 33-38 and have won five of six while Pittsburgh is 34-36. For Game 1 of this series the Pirates will go with another rookie, Osvaldo Bido on the mound against Drew Smyly. Smyly is 6-4 in 14 starts for Chicago with a 3.59 ERA and Bido allowed just one run in his only career MLB start last week at Wrigley. 

Even with the fresh blood in Pittsburgh, the Pirates are home underdogs in Game 1 of another NL Central rivalry. 

Cubs vs. Pirates odds, run line and total

Cubs vs. Pirates prediction and pick

There’s a reason that the Pirates had to call up Davis after just 10 games at Triple-A. First off all because he’s tearing the cover off the ball wherever he is in the organization and second off all, because very few players in black and gold have been doing that lately. The Pirates are still carrying Austin Hedges and Jason Delay on the roster, so it’s unclear if Davis will go right behind the plate or if he will somehow get work as a DH with Cutch taking more time in the outfield, but getting his bat into the lineup is a necessity. 

The Pirates are 22nd in runs scored in June after being 30th in May and their .707 OPS is 18th this month. This is a good matchup for his debut against a lefty, because it allows the Pirates to potentially have him DH, Cutch play right field, and Jack Suwinski get the day off. Davis has a 1.012 OPS against lefties in the minors this season with three homers in just 40 at-bats against left-handers. The Pirates lineup is much better against lefties and they should do some damage against Smyly, but they’ll need serious run support with Bido on the mound. 

In his MLB debut, Bido showed strikeout stuff, but also allowed four hits and three walks with his six Ks in just 4.0 innings. Bido gave up far too many hits in the minors and that continued in the big leagues. It took him 91 pitches to get through four innings and while it seemed like a promising start he isn’t the answer in the rotation. This game will be very high scoring and I love the over. 

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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change