The Cubs (66-60) won two of three in Detroit against a scrappy Tigers team that made them work hard for both victories. They now wrap up the stretch against teams with losing records with four games in Pittsburgh against the Pirates (57-70).
The Bucs crashed hard after their surprising opening month of the season and now find themselves battling with the Cardinals for last place in the NL Central. Their 4.56 team ERA is 21st in MLB and the starting staff has really struggled with a 4.88 mark.
Mitch Keller made the All-Star team and is the ace of the staff, but he has struggled lately with a 7.30 second-half ERA. Despite rumors at the trade deadline, closer David Bednar remained with the team and has 27 saves with a 2.08 ERA.
The Pirates’ offense has not been much better than the pitching with a .704 team OPS that ranks 22nd in MLB. Bryan Reynolds is still the most dangerous hitter in the lineup but Chicago area native Jack Suwinski is the biggest power threat with 21 homers.
Though this stretch of the schedule appeared to be very easy for the Cubs on paper, the actual games have been much more difficult. These are all major league teams with players capable of doing damage on any given day and it would be dangerous to look past this series. The Cubs have done a good job of winning even if it hasn’t always looked pretty.
After playing the Pirates, the North Siders begin a stretch of head-to-head matchups with their playoff competition. It would be nice if they could win this weekend to put themselves in a better position for that run.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Thursday, August 24 at 6:05pm CT on Marquee.
- Friday, August 25 at 6:05pm CT on Marquee.
- Saturday, August 26 at 6:15pm CT on Fox.
- Sunday, August 27 at 12:35pm CT on Marquee.
What to Watch For
- Seiya Suzuki reached base seven times against the Tigers.
- Smyly is scheduled to start Sunday, but keep an eye on a possible call-up of Jordan Wicks from Iowa after he was scratched from his most recent start.
- Yan Gomes has six hits in his last four games including two doubles.