These two games will be completed in about 21 hours’ time, then the Cubs head back on the road.
For an update on the Pirates, here’s Jeremy Brener, a writer at our SB Nation Pirates site Bucs Dugout:
The Pirates are officially in that part of the season where we’re looking towards next year. The team traded Daniel Vogelbach and Michael Perez to the Mets and could use this series against the Cubs to showcase some of their other tradable assets.
Given the current players on the roster, it’s possible that the team could look to move on from Ben Gamel, especially if he plays well during this series. Bryan Reynolds’ injury takes away some firepower but gives Gamel that opportunity to shine. At the end of the day, the Pirates have to simply go through the motions for the rest of the season and continue to try and give their young players some good at bats as the season winds down.
One of those young players is shortstop Oneil Cruz, who isn’t hitting much but has a rocket arm at shortstop. Have a look at these throws:
This is the last series for the Pirates in Chicago this year. The Cubs are just 3-4 against Pittsburgh at Wrigley in 2022, but have outscored them 47-15 in those seven games, largely because they shut the Bucs out by scores of 21-0, 9-0 and 7-0.
The last time before this series that the Cubs had a scheduled two-game series that comprised an entire homestand was July 23-24, 2003, when the schedule-makers sandwiched two home games against the Phillies in between a pair of road trips. The Cubs lost both those games. (There have been a couple of two-game homestands since then, but those were shortened by postponements.)
Monday: Adrian Sampson, RHP (0-1, 3.34 ERA, 1.206 WHIP, 3.64 FIP) vs. JT Brubaker, RHP (2-8, 4.02 ERA, 1.415 WHIP, 3.73 FIP)
Tuesday: Keegan Thompson, RHP (7-6, 3.43 ERA, 1.254 WHIP, 3.73 FIP) vs. Bryse Wilson, RHP (1-5, 6.52 ERA, 1.651 WHIP, 4.89 FIP)
NOTE: Per this tweet from before the All-Star break, Thompson was supposed to start Monday and Sampson Tuesday, but now they’re swapped:
Cubs’ rotation order to begin the second half, via Ross: Steele, Stroman, Smyly, Thompson, Sampson.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) July 17, 2022
Times & TV channels
Monday: 7:05 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network
Tuesday: 1:20 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network (also on MLB Network outside the Cubs and Pirates market territories)
These pitching matchups seem favorable to the Cubs and the Pirates have lost four of their last five road games. I’m going to make a bold prediction here and say the Cubs will continue their winning streak and sweep this brief two-game set.
The Cubs have an unusual Wednesday off day, then head to San Francisco for a four-game series against the Giants beginning Thursday evening.
How many games will the Cubs win against the Pirates?
This poll is closed