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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Pirates series preview

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What, YOU again?

Write your own caption
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Seriously... write a caption for the photo at the top of this series preview. That ought to be fun. Keep it clean, please!

The Pirates helped the Cubs out by taking two of three from the Brewers last weekend — at home, where the Bucs won five of seven from the Brewers and Cubs.

That doesn’t seem optimal, but the Pirates have lost 11 of their last 16 road games, including being swept at Milwaukee and Atlanta in early June. The Pirates lost two of three in Milwaukee to the Brewers just before the Cubs took them on at PNC Park last week.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that the Cubs should feel good about getting back to Wrigley Field and facing the Pirates on their home turf. Let’s hope a new homestand will bring victories to our favorite North Side team.

The Cubs are currently 3-4 overall against the Bucs entering this series.

Fun fact

The Cubs have 72 games remaining. 12 of those will be against the Pirates (16.7 percent), more than they’ll face any other team except the Brewers, so the Pirates will have a lot to say about whether the Cubs win the N.L. Central.

Pitching matchups

Friday: Yu Darvish, RHP (2-4, 5.01 ERA, 1.340 WHIP, 5.30 FIP) vs. Chris Archer, RHP (3-6, 5.49 ERA, 1.457 WHIP, 5.91 FIP)

Saturday: Jon Lester, LHP (8-6, 3.72 ERA, 1.304 WHIP, 4.16 FIP) vs. Jordan Lyles, RHP (5-5, 4.36 ERA, 1.305 WHIP, 4.16 FIP)

Sunday: Jose Quintana, LHP (6-7, 4.19 ERA, 1.347 WHIP, 3.98 FIP) vs. Trevor Williams, RHP (3-2, 4.54 ERA, 1.262 WHIP, 4.00 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Friday: 1:20 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Chicago, MLB Network (outside Cubs and Pirates market territories)

Saturday: 1:20 p.m., WGN

Sunday: 1:20 p.m., ABC7 Chicago

Prediction

One of the issues (though certainly not the entire problem) with losing three of four to the Pirates before the All-Star break in Pittsburgh was starting three righthanders against them. The Pirates hit RHP much better than they hit LHP (.792 OPS vs. RHP, .677 OPS vs. LHP through the All-Star break). Thus starting two lefties vs. the Pirates (as the Cubs did in their April series against them at Wrigley, and the starters in this series are the same three that went in that set) would seem to be the ticket to winning two of three here.

Up next

The Cubs host the Reds for a three-game series at Wrigley Field beginning Monday evening.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Pirates?

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    3
    (77 votes)
  • 50%
    2
    (122 votes)
  • 12%
    1
    (30 votes)
  • 4%
    0
    (12 votes)
241 votes total Vote Now