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Series Preview: Cubs at Pirates

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Atlanta Braves v Chicago Cubs Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

These guys, one more time.

I noted last week the Pirates had done alright against the Cubs this season. The Pirates went out and got swept in three games, losing by an aggregate 27-5, including a ghastly 17-3 loss on Wednesday.

Since then the Cubs took three of four from the Braves, dropping a 5-1 decision Sunday. The teams channeled the Chicago Bears and Atlanta Falcons in a 14-12 Cubs win Saturday.

The Cubs had won six in a row. They have won 15 of 21 and hold a 3 1/2-game lead over the second-place Brewers in the National League Central.

The Pirates (65-72) took two of three from the Reds at home over the weekend.

Season Series: 8-7 Cubs

At Chicago

April 14: Pirates 4, Cubs 2

April 15: Pirates 8, Cubs 7

April 16: Pirates 6, Cubs 1

At Pittsburgh

April 24: Cubs 14, Pirates 3

April 25: Cubs 1, Pirates 0

April 26: Pirates 6, Cubs 5

At Pittsburgh

June 16: Cubs 9, Pirates 5

June 17: Pirates 4, Cubs 3

June 18: Cubs 9, Pirates 1

At Chicago

July 7: Cubs 6, Pirates 1

July 8: Pirates 4, Cubs 2

July 9: Pirates 14, Cubs 3

At Chicago

August 28: Cubs 6, Pirates 1

August 29: Cubs 4, Pirates 1

August 30: Cubs 17, Pirates 3

Schedule

Monday, 4:05 p.m. - Jake Arrieta (14-8, 3.36 ERA) vs. Chad Kuhl (6-10, 4.54), TV: AT&T SportsNet, ESPN

Tuesday, 7:05 p.m. - Kyle Hendricks (6-4, 3.32) vs. Steven Brault (0-0, 5.93), TV: AT&T SportsNet

Wednesday, 7:05 p.m. - Jose Quintana (9-11, 4.49) vs. Gerrit Cole (11-9, 4.11), TV: AT&T SportsNet

Thursday, 7:05 p.m. - Jon Lester (9-7, 4.46) vs. Jameson Taillon (7-5, 4.50), TV: AT&T SportsNet, MLB Network (out of market)

Cubs

75-61 (77-59 Pythag, 5.09 RS/G, 4.40 RA/G)

Offense

Willson Contreras (.274/.342/.519) and Addison Russell (.241/.305/.417) remain on the shelf. Kris Bryant (.289/.407/.530) and Anthony Rizzo (.283/.399/.542) remain very good. Jon Jay is providing solid baserunning with a .290/.379/.380 line in 350 plate appearances. Javier Baez left Sunday’s game after hitting his head against Ozzie Albies’ knee on a slide. Baez is not in concussion protocol and it seems he’s making the trip to Pittsburgh.

Pitching

Since we last dealt with the Cubs, they’ve returned Jon Lester (9.33 K/9, 2.76 BB/9) and Justin Grimm (9.55 K/9, 4.78 BB/9) from the disabled list. Lester allowed four runs in five innings before the bullpen gave up a bunch more in Saturday’s slugfest. Jake Arrieta (8.72 K/9, 2.96 BB/9) allowed two hits in six innings against the Pirates on Tuesday. Jose Quintana (10.73 K/9, 2.94 BB/9) boosted those DIPS with nine strikeouts and no walks against the Pirates on Wednesday, though he did give up three runs on jon jayfour hits in six innings. Kyle Hendricks (7.81 K/9, 2.91 BB/9, 3.32 ERA) will face the Pirates for just the second time this year and the first since April. He’s dealt with injuries and regression and whatnot.

Outlook

The Pirates have another chance to play spoiler, but this is a good Cubs team that’s finally clicking. Don’t get your hopes up.

Poll

How does this series go?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    Pirates sweep!
    (4 votes)
  • 4%
    3-1 Pirates
    (3 votes)
  • 22%
    2-2 split
    (16 votes)
  • 42%
    3-1 Cubs
    (30 votes)
  • 25%
    Cubs sweep.
    (18 votes)
71 votes total Vote Now