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June 20th 2014 - Posted at 11:00 AM ET

There are three picks today.

#1: Take Draw (+264) in France vs. Switzerland risking 2%

#2: Take Ecuador (-152) on the Money Line against Honduras risking 2%

#3: Take Pittsburgh Pirates on the Money Line (-125) against Chicago Cubs risking 2% 
(Morton and Jackson must start)

The Pittsburgh Pirates travel to Wrigley Field this afternoon to take on the Cubs in Game 1 of this series. After losing three straight games, Pittsburgh was looking to get back on the winning track and they took the first step last night coming away with a 4-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in a game that lasted 12 innings! Jeff Locke gave up just 2 runs and three hits over six innings but received a no decision when closer Jason Grilli served a game tying homer in the 9th. Pittsburgh scored on a bases loaded walk, which isn't necessarily the best way to win a game, but in baseball a win is a win, and any win is enough to change momentum. Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen continued to be the driving force of this offense as the Pirates recorded 12 hits!

Pittsburgh will turn the ball over to Charlie Morton tonight. Morton will look to remain hot having won his last 3 starts and has given up just 5 earned runs in his last 19 innings pitched. The Cubs meanwhile will counter with Edwin Jackson. Jackson has struggled in his past two starts giving up a combined 10 earned runs on 15 hits in 10.2 innings pitched!

As we stated earlier, Andrew McCutchen has been a driving force for the Pirates' offense and Jackson will need to be wary of him. McCutchen is a career .361 hitter at Wrigley Field and has gone 12 for 26 with three home runs and three doubles against him! One of those homers came in the loss earlier this month. Rookie right fielder Gregory Polanco has also been making an impact. Polanco has hit safely in each of his first nine games which is the longest streak by any Pirates player to begin a major league career! He is batting an impressive .378. 

Morton has thrown the ball better and has been more consistent than Jackson this season. These teams have met 10 times already this season with Pittsburgh owning a 7-3 advantage. Morton and Jackson have faced off 3 times this year with the Pirates taking all three of those meetings. The Chicago Cubs offense leaves a lot to be desired and we believe Morton can do the job of containing them this afternoon. The Pirates should take a close win and continue their success against the Cubs. 

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Pittsburgh is 3-0 as a road favorite of -125 to -150 this season.
  • Cubs are 3-7 when coming off a day off.
  • Jackson is 0-4, 9.00 ERA in his last five starts!

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