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Doc’s Sports handicapper Jason Sharpe: Take #956 Chicago Cubs -115 over Pittsburgh (8:05pm ET)

Looks like the 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates are really feeling the pressure coming down the home stretch of their season. The goal has gone from making the playoffs to now just finishing above .500 on the year for this struggling franchise. The Pirates look to be letting that goal slip out of their hands also as they are doing everything they can it seems to give these games away here late in the year. They have dropped eight of their last nine games overall with five of these contests coming by just two runs or less. The one team that seems to have put the biggest dent in the Pirates here late in the season are these Chicago Cubs as they have beat Pittsburgh in five of their last six meetings.

Give the Cubs some credit (don’t hear that one much do we?) as they have won seven of their last nine games overall. They haven’t done this by beating up on bad teams either as the Cubs have won five of their last six versus teams with winning records. Left-hander Travis Wood gets the call in this one as Wood comes in with six quality starts in his last eight trips to the hill. He sports a very strong 3.16 ERA in those starts and has 37 strikeouts to only 10 walks during this time. The youngster has really done a fine job down the stretch proving he is a guy the Cubs may be able to pencil in as a starter for them in the 2013 season.

The Pirates look like, well, the Pirates of yesteryear here down the stretch. This is a team playing their worst baseball of the season right now and on the road here against a red hot starter means they should be a much bigger underdog than this. Play the Chicago Cubs in this one. I have won six straight MLB plays and currently at my yearly high overall for the 2012 MLB season in money won on the year. Jump on board as we have a nice late season price up for the stretch drive. Enjoy the MLB playoffs with some winning action as last year $100 a unit players made close to $3,000 of profit following my MLB plays during this time. I am locked and loaded for another great ending to another winning year on the diamond.

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