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Series preview: Pirates look to get back on track vs. Cubs

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The Cubbies head back to PNC.

Chicago Cubs v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (12-12), May 25-27, 2021

Location: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA

TV: AT&T Sports Pittsburgh

Radio: KDKA-AM

Cubs SB Nation Site: Bleed Cubbie Blue


The Cubs and Pirates meet for the fourth time this season for the next three days.

Here’s a look at what we can expect this week:

Projected Starters

Tuesday, 6:35 p.m. EST

Jake Arrieta (4-4, 4.46 ERA) vs. Cody Ponce (2021 debut)

Wednesday, 6:35 p.m. EST

Trevor Williams (2-2, 5.97 ERA) vs. Wil Crowe (0-2, 4.91 ERA)

Thursday, 12:35 p.m. EST

Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 4.74 ERA) vs. Tyler Anderson (3-4, 4.73 ERA)

Projected Lineups

Cubs

  1. Joc Pederson (LF)
  2. Kris Bryant (RF)
  3. Willson Contreras (C)
  4. Anthony Rizzo (1B)
  5. Javier Baez (SS)
  6. Ian Happ (CF)
  7. Matt Duffy (3B)
  8. Nico Hoerner (2B)
  9. Starting Pitcher

Pirates

  1. Adam Frazier (2B)
  2. Kevin Newman (SS)
  3. Bryan Reynolds (CF)
  4. Gregory Polanco (RF)
  5. Will Craig (1B)
  6. Ben Gamel (LF)
  7. Wilmer Difo (3B)
  8. Michael Perez (C)
  9. Starting Pitcher

After winning the first game of the Braves series in 10 innings, the Pirates struggled at the plate, failing to score more than a run in each of the next three games.

Returning home could help with the offense. The team holds a better batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS at PNC Park than on the road.

And without three of the team’s top bats in Phillip Evans, Ke’Bryan Hayes and Colin Moran for another series, the team will have to search elsewhere for pop. Or they can rely on their pitching to keep games close, but they’ll be doing it with the back half of their rotation, including Cody Ponce, who is set to make his fourth career start (first since 2020) in the opening game on Tuesday.