Cubs @ Pirates Series Preview (August 16-18): TV and Game Info, Starting Pitchers, Insights

The Cubs didn’t find much brotherly love in Philadelphia, getting swept by the Phillies in three games with Bryce Harper‘s titanic walk-off grand slam serving as the final painful exclamation point. Chicago is now 13 games under .500 on the road with 20 left to go.

Next up are the reeling Pittsburgh Pirates, who have gone 5-25 since the All-Star break. There is not a weaker possible road opponent at the moment, though the Cubs can’t exactly take anyone for granted. In addition to a pair of games at PNC Park, the series also features a game in Williamsport, Pennsylvania to celebrate the Little League World Series.

I don’t think it’s an understatement to say the Cubs need to win this series. They’re still tied for first in the division but now technically sit in the second Wild Card spot, so a 3-7 road trip will likely knock them out of playoff position. The North Siders have used up all their margin for error and have to get it going or see everything slip away.

Game Time and Broadcast Info

  • Friday, August 16 at 6:05pm CT on WGN
  • Saturday, August 17 at 12:35pm CT on ABC-7 and MLB Network (out-of-market)
  • Sunday, August 18 at 6:10pm CT on ESPN (at Williamsport, PA)

Starting Pitchers

Date Pitcher Age T ERA W/L FIP K/BB
8/16 Kyle Hendricks 29 R 3.48 8-9 3.93 4.22
Joe Musgrove 26 R 4.71 8-11 4.18 3.59
8/17 Jon Lester 35 L 4.43 9-8 4.18 4.03
Steven Brault 27 L 4.33 3-1 4.45 1.72
8/18 José Quintana 30 L 4.11 10-7 3.84 3.44
Mitch Keller 23 R 7.94 1-1 3.34 2.38

What to Watch For

  • Brandon Kintzler should be back from his injury Friday, which can only help a struggling bullpen.
  • Nicholas Castellanos continues to be one of the Cubs’ bright spots at the moment.
  • Quintana has allowed just four runs in his last 20 innings pitched.
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