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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Pirates series preview

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Here’s a team the Cubs should be able to beat.

Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

Who are the real Pittsburgh Pirates this year?

The team that started 4-17?

Or the team that’s gone 6-5 since then?

It’s probably the former. Even though the Pirates have won six of their last 11 games, the first three of those were an unexpected sweep of the Brewers at PNC Park last week. Since then they’ve lost five of eight and were outscored 40-26 in that eight-game stretch.

Overall the Pirates rank tied for 27th in runs scored. The Cubs pitching staff gave them just seven runs in a three-game sweep at Wrigley Field in July. The Bucs are 5-9 at home; the Cubs are 8-6 on the road.

Fun fact

Since 2015 the Cubs are 59-38 against the Pirates and 26-22 at PNC Park (not including the 2015 wild-card game). And since July 4, 2019 the Cubs are 12-4 against the Pirates.

Pitching matchups

Tuesday: Jon Lester, LHP (2-1, 4.55 ERA, 1.200 WHIP, 5.29 FIP) vs. Chad Kuhl, RHP (1-1, 2.52 ERA, 1.080 WHIP, 5.46 FIP)

Wednesday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (3-4, 4.09 ERA, 1.091 WHIP, 3.64 FIP) vs. Derek Holland, LHP (1-2, 7.62 ERA, 1.518 WHIP, 7.23 FIP)

Thursday: TBD vs. JT Brubaker (0-0, 4.50 ERA, 1.400 WHIP, 3.89 FIP)

Yu Darvish could go on normal four days’ rest Thursday, but it’s possible the Cubs are holding him back to face the Cardinals on Friday. Alec Mills, who also started in Saturday’s doubleheader in Cincinnati, could also go on normal rest Thursday.

Times & TV channels

Tuesday: 6:05 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Wednesday: 6:05 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Thursday: 12:35 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network, MLB Network (outside Cubs and Pirates market territories)

Prediction

The Cubs ought to win two of three here. I hate to predict sweeps, but they appear to be in a good position to sweep the Pirates for the second time this year.

Up next

The Cubs return to Wrigley Field for a five-game series against the Cardinals, which begins Friday evening.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Pirates?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    3
    (38 votes)
  • 52%
    2
    (64 votes)
  • 13%
    1
    (16 votes)
  • 4%
    0
    (5 votes)
123 votes total Vote Now