The Cubs just keep on winning. After getting shut down in the first game against the Phillies, the Cubs scratched out a couple close victories to win the series against the gents from Philly. They have now won four straight series, and have a 10-3 record over that stretch. The Cubs currently have the least amount of losses in the National League with a 35-24 record, trailing the Brewers by a mere half game in the NL Central. Today they’ll welcome the Pirates to Wrigley for a three game weekend set.
It hasn’t been all that long since these two teams faced each other. In fact, it was just over a week ago when the Cubs took two-of-three from the Bucs at PNC. Since then, the Pirates have struggled against the Cardinals and Dodgers, going 2-5. During that stretch the Buccos were averaging 4.57 runs per game on offense while allowing 5.71 runs per game.
The offensive numbers against the Cardinals and Dodgers are affected by a trio of games in which they scored seven or more runs. In the other four games, they got shut out twice, scored four runs in one, and two in the other. So, the offense has not been great overall. Two of the games in which they scored more than seven runs came in the previous two contests against the Dodgers, however, so there is a chance they will continue to pound the ball and score runs.
The Pirates pitching in those series against the Dodgers or Cardinals was not up to par. They allowed at least eight runs in three contests, while also shutting out the Cardinals, allowing three runs against the Red Birds, and five runs twice (once against the Cards and once against the Dodgers).
The three starters the Cubs will face in the upcoming series are the exact same as the series at PNC. In fact, the pitching matchups are the exact same. Hopefully that means the upcoming series will progress in the same manner.
Game and Broadcast Info
- Friday, June 8 at 1:20 CT on NBC Sports Chicago and MLB Network (out-of-market only)
- Saturday, June 9 at 1:20 CT on ABC 7
- Sunday, June 10 at 1:20 on WGN
What to Watch For
- The last time the Cubs faced Joe Musgrove they had early opportunities to get runs against him. They could not do so, however, and Musgrove settled into a groove to shut the Cubs down. Now that they have faced him once, look for the Cubs to make some adjustments and attack him differently.
- The last time Jon Lester went against the Pirates he struggled a bit, allowing four runs over six innings of work. While it was not a terrible start, he can certainly perform better.
- Anthony Rizzo (.381/.417/.762 in his last seven games) continues to rake at the plate. I think it’s fair to say that he is back to being the hitter we’ve seen over the past five seasons. Look for him to continue to hit the cover off of the ball in this series.
- Kris Bryant has struggled recently. Over his last 14 games he is slashing .283/.345/.340 and striking out 27.6% of the time, while walking only 8.6% of the time. Look for him to right the ship.