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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Pirates series preview

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Perhaps the Cubs can win these games.

Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

It might no longer mean much, but the Cubs actually have games on their schedule that they ought to be able to win.

The Pirates are a bad, bad, bad baseball team right now. They’re without two of their best players due to injury (Starling Marte and Josh Bell) and they have nine (!) pitchers on their current active roster with ERAs over 6.

You might remember that the Pirates were 44-45 and only 2½ games behind the first-place Cubs at the All-Star break. (“First-place Cubs.” That has a nice ring to it...)

Since then Pittsburgh is 21-46, tied for the worst record in the National League with the Marlins. They are 9-23 at home in that span (including the “home” game they lost to the Cubs in the Little League Classic at Williamsport).

Seriously, the Cubs ought to sweep this series.

Fun fact

The Pirates are currently on a nine-game losing streak in which they have been outscored 87-26. Three of those losses were to the Cubs where the Bucs allowed 47 runs in that Wrigley Field sweep. They have scored one or zero runs in five of the nine defeats.

Pitching matchups

Tuesday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (11-9, 3.37 ERA, 1.135 WHIP, 3.69 FIP) vs. Mitch Keller, RHP (1-5, 7.74 ERA, 1.837 WHIP, 3.38 FIP)

Wednesday: Jon Lester, LHP (13-10, 4.51 ERA, 1.503 WHIP, 4.35 FIP) vs. Dario Agrazal, RHP (4-5, 5.08 ERA, 1.396 WHIP, 6.06 FIP)

Thursday: TBD vs. Joe Musgrove, RHP (10-12, 4.49 ERA, 1.229 WHIP, 3.91 FIP)

At posting time, the Cubs had not announced a starter for Thursday’s game. I suppose they are holding out hope that Cole Hamels can make this start, but more likely It will be Alec Mills.

Times & TV channels

Tuesday: 6:05 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Chicago

Wednesday: 6:05 p.m. CT, WGN

Thursday: 6:05 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Chicago, MLB Network (outside Cubs and Pirates market territories)

Prediction

I’ll just say it again: Seriously, the Cubs ought to sweep this series.

Up next

The Cubs wrap the 2019 regular season with a three-game series against the Cardinals in St. Louis beginning Friday evening.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Pirates?

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    3
    (51 votes)
  • 21%
    2
    (28 votes)
  • 19%
    1
    (25 votes)
  • 20%
    0
    (27 votes)
131 votes total Vote Now