Chicago Cubs vs Pittsburgh Pirates – Series Preview (May 16-19): Overview, Game and Broadcast Info, Starting Pitchers, W2W4

The Cubs (25-19) salvaged the final game of their matchup with the Braves on Wednesday to wrap up a 3-3 road trip. With a continuing rash of injuries affecting both the bullpen and the lineup, every day has been a battle for Craig Counsell‘s squad. Now they return home for four with the same Pirates team they just played last week.

Chicago won two of three in a series that featured a couple of wild games, including one with six bases-loaded walks in one inning. Pittsburgh (19-25) followed that up by losing two games out of three against the Brewers in Milwaukee.

Oneil Cruz had a huge series against the Cubs with five hits, two of which went for home runs. Connor Joe also had two home runs in those games and has been the best hitter for the Pirates so far this season.

Chicago is going to get another look at both of the Bucs’ flame-throwing right-handers, Jared Jones and Paul Skenes, who can each top 100 on the radar gun. The bullpen is incredibly vulnerable as displayed by the walk-fest in last Saturday’s game.

Even though the Pirates have gone 8-20 the last month, they demonstrated in the games against the Cubs that they aren’t pushovers. Given all the injuries and slumps plaguing the North Siders right now, nothing can be taken for granted. Maybe being back at home will spur a much-needed hot streak from the offense.

Game Time and Broadcast Info

  • Thursday, May 16 at 6:40pm CT on Marquee.
  • Friday, May 17 at 1:20pm CT on MLB Network (out of market only) and Marquee.
  • Saturday, May 18 at 1:20pm CT on Marquee.
  • Sunday, May 19 at 1:20pm CT on Marquee.

Starting Pitchers

Date Pitcher Age T ERA W/L FIP K/BB
5/16 Justin Steele 28 L 4.73 0-0 5.31 2.75
Jared Jones 22 R 2.68 2-4 3.47 8.00
5/17  Kyle Hendricks 26 R 10.04 0-3 7.40 1.91
Paul Skenes 21 R 6.75 0-0 5.13 3.50
5/18 Shōta Imanaga 30 L 0.96 5-0 2.30 6.38
Bailey Falter 27 L 4.15 2-2 5.05 2.45
5/19 Jameson Taillon 32 R 1.61 3-1 4.56 2.25
Mitch Keller 28 R 3.93 4-3 3.73 3.19

What to Watch For

  • Miles Mastrobuoni has reached base eight times in his last three games after an 0-for-15 start to the season.
  • Imanaga battled in five tough innings to keep the Braves off the scoreboard Monday.
  • Cody Bellinger is on a four-game hitting streak and looks good since returning from injury.
  • Nico Hoerner missed the last two games in Atlanta with a tight left hamstring and his status is still up in the air for this series.
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