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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Pirates series preview

The Cubs played the Braves pretty well. Now they’ll see if they can keep that going in Pittsburgh.

Photo by Joe Puetz/Getty Images

The Cubs have just ended a stretch of 20 games against teams with winning records during which they went 6-14.

Now they’ll have four against the Pirates, who have lost 11 of their last 13. If the Cubs can win three of four in this series, they’ll take over third place in the NL Central.

Baby steps, right?

For more on the Pirates, here’s Jeremy Brener, an editor at our SB Nation Pirates site Bucs Dugout.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have not had the best June. After sweeping the Dodgers in L.A. at the beginning of this month, fans were on such a high. The Buccos were only a handful of games back of a Wild Card spot, and there was an actual chance of competitive baseball this summer in Pittsburgh. However, the team has regressed to the mean and fallen back down to earth. Now, it seems to be a race for third in the division between them, the Cubs and Reds.

The Pirates have been giving a bunch of their prospects a shot during the summer, like Chicago-area native Jack Suwinski, Tucupita Marcano, Canaan Smith-Njigba, and most recently, Liover Peguero. There’s rumors that top prospect Oneil Cruz could be the next of the prospects to join the big league team. Because of this, there’s a lot of youthful excitement in Pittsburgh this summer, and that’s what the rest of the season is about. Let’s see what there is to offer with these young players and hopefully there’s enough to pave the way for a true competitive product in 2023.

Fun fact

The Cubs are 4-5 against the Pirates so far this year, but have outscored them in those nine games 51-22, largely because three of the four wins have been shutout blowouts — 21-0, 9-0 and 7-0.

Pitching matchups

Monday: Caleb Kilian, RHP (0-1, 8.00 ERA, 1.667 WHIP, 4.47 FIP) vs. JT Brubaker, RHP (0-7, 4.50 ERA, 1.438 WHIP, 4.39 FIP)

Tuesday: Matt Swarmer, RHP (1-2, 5.23 ERA, 1.258 WHIP, 8.75 FIP) vs. TBD

Wednesday: Keegan Thompson, RHP (6-2, 3.27 ERA, 1.182 WHIP, 4.23 FIP) vs. Zach Thompson, RHP (3-5, 4.47 ERA, 1.417 WHIP, 5.59 FIP)

Thursday: Justin Steele, LHP (2-5, 4.27 ERA, 1.475 WHIP, 3.48 FIP) vs. Jose Quintana, LHP (1-4, 3.66 ERA, 1.328 WHIP, 3.92 FIP)

Times & TV channels

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

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

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

Thursday: 11:35 a.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Prediction

The Cubs played better over the weekend after their long losing streak. I’d like to think they can take three of four and win this series, but I’ll settle for a split.

Up next

The Cubs travel to St. Louis for a three-game series against the Cardinals which begins Friday evening.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Pirates?

  • 7%
    4
    (13 votes)
  • 19%
    3
    (32 votes)
  • 43%
    2
    (72 votes)
  • 20%
    1
    (34 votes)
  • 9%
    0
    (16 votes)
167 votes total Vote Now