Series Preview: Chicago Cubs (32-33) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (30-36)

In Uncategorized by myles77 Comments

The red-hot Cubs come rambling into Pittsburgh for a 3-game skirmish this weekend (note: Cubs not actually red-hot). The Pirates are a really, really interesting team considering that they don't have an offensive standout this year, but they don't have any offensive black holes. From top to bottom, the OPS+ of the 8 position players is 122, 114, 106, 103, 103, 100, 98, 96. The Pirates are also good at shortening the game with their bullpen; getting there is another story.

 

Team Leaders

Cubs

Pirates

  • OBP: David Freese (.380)
  • ISO: Josh Bell/Jose Osuna (.210)
  • HR: Bell/Andrew McCutchen (11)
  • R+RBI: McCutchen (71)
  • BSR: Josh Harrison (1.0)
  • Defense: Jordy Mercer (3.8)
  • SP K/9: Tyler Glasnow (8.28)
  • SP BB/9: Ivan Nova (0.71)
  • SP FIP: Nova (3.53)
  • RP K/9: Felipe Rivero (9.87)
  • RP BB/9: Wade LeBlanc (1.66)
  • RP FIP: Davis (2.01)
  • WAR: Harrison (2.1)

Probables

Friday: Eddie "What? Me Strikeout?" Butler (4.13 FIP) vs "Tennessee" Trevor Williams (4.82) (6:05 PM CST, WGN TV, 670 Radio)

Over/under on strikeouts recorded by these two starters in this game: 6.5
Over/under on earned runs allowed by these two starters in this game: 6.5

Eddie Butler is just not a very good pitcher. He's had incredible HR-luck this year and parlayed that into a league-average FIP. Nothing either in the hitting environment or Butler's own past indicate he can escape the longball in a meaningful way all season, so when those troubles come back (they will) it's going to get ugly. 

Trevor Williams' upside is approximately Eddie Butler.

Saturday: Jake "The Snake" Arrieta (4.04) vs Ivan "Super" Nova (3.53) (7:15 PM CST, FOX TV, 670 Radio)

Ivan Nova is running an experiment where he is trying to figure out the highest ratio of balls in play you can get. Right now, it's working out for him (.262 BABIP), but having a 13.7% strikeout percentage would make Eddie Butler blush. He's had an increase in line drives and ground balls, so expect that the Cubs line out a lot and ground into 4 double plays.

I think Jake Arrieta has been pretty underrated this year, though he's dealing with a thumb issue. He's had a few too many fastballs this year (and they've been pulling them), but other than that his numbers are really similar to 2014 otherwise. This is Arrieta's last year as a Cub, so if the season goes really south, he can probably net something on the trade market. If not, I think he'll be suitable enough to be a starter for the NLDS we get swept in.

Sunday: John Lackey "Eats Live Mice" (5.55) vs Jameson Taillon (3.95) (12:35 PM CST, CSN-C TV, 670 Radio)

When 5 flyballs come off the bat after a Lackey pitch this year, one on average leaves the park. That's…not good. John Lackey seems like he's kind of a dick, and he's pitched horribly all year. Hard contact rates get higher and higher, almost to the point where you expect an integer overflow. I really don't want to watch another John Lackey start. I think that's exactly what I'll do.

Jameson Taillon has beaten cancer this year, so who gives a flying fuck how good of a pitcher he is. Glad he's doing well. It reminds me of John Arguello from Cubs Den. His cancer just came back. His twitter is right here. Please let him know that he's got some support, and if you can do more, please do so. Fuck cancer.

 

The Cubs don't face Gerrit Cole, which is a shame.

Share this Post

Comments

  1. uncle dave

    dmick89,

    I’m not sure of the particulars with Durant, but guys typically can get more money for staying with the teams that draft them long-term. And the league has responded specifically to Durant’s case by allowing teams to offer more than the max salary for veteran superstars. (They put a similar rule in place for guys coming off of their rookie deals specifically to keep Derrick Rose in Chicago. Thanks, guys.)

    In Durant’s case I’m not sure it would make much of a difference. An NBA max deal is like $25MM per. Maybe you really want $27MM instead, but it’s not the sort of difference that’s gonna force a guy to stay. And for Durant, I think he just wanted to go to Golden State and win. People who have a problem with that need to shut the fuck up and think a bit harder about how difficult it is to win an NBA title, and how few chances even the best players have to do it.

    I can’t help but think that these same fools would shit on any other player for leaving to take more money. They just want to shit on the players. And I have never understood that point of view.

      Quote  Reply

  2. dmick89

    uncle dave: I think he just wanted to go to Golden State and win. People who have a problem with that need to shut the fuck up and think a bit harder about how difficult it is to win an NBA title, and how few chances even the best players have to do it.

    Exactly. The best player in basketball history has won, what, two championships in like eight tries or something? There’s a good chance that Durant will have more NBA titles than LeBron by the end of the 2018-2019 season. Whether or not it is good for the sport is something I don’t really care about. From what I’ve read, the sport is making tons of money so it must be pretty good for it, but there’s no doubt that Durant made the smart, rational decision in choosing who to play for.

      Quote  Reply

  3. dmick89

    uncle dave: I can’t help but think that these same fools would shit on any other player for leaving to take more money. They just want to shit on the players. And I have never understood that point of view.

    I’ve also never really understood why fans want to shit all over the best teams in the league. If it’s part of some rivalry I can understand that, but the only dynasty I’ve seen in my life in baseball was the Yankees in the late 90s. That team was built from within and had tremendous talent. As good as some people have thought the Cubs young players would become, there’s almost no chance they’ll get as much production as those Yankees teams did and there’s even less of a chance they’ll win as many titles. I don’t understand how someone can be a fan of baseball and not appreciate greatness.

      Quote  Reply

  4. Berselius is too lazy to login

    Thanks for writing this Myles. I’ve been swamped with work travel.

      Quote  Reply

  5. Wenningtons Gorilla Cock

    dmick89: Exactly. The best player in basketball history has won, what, two championships in like eight tries or something?

    Um, Bill Wennington has THREE rings. Not two.

      Quote  Reply

  6. cerulean

    I missed what just happened because I was busy being outraged at Rizzo’s homerun that changed trajectory at the foul pole to lead off the game. Ridiculous.

    EDIT: I hope Rizzo hits a grandslam.

      Quote  Reply

  7. cerulean

    cerulean:
    This new shit seems a lot like the previous shit.

    It looks like the previous shit, but then you taste it. It tastes different on the finish.

      Quote  Reply

  8. uncle dave

    Wenningtons Gorilla Cock,

    (dying laughing)

    One of my favorite moments in broadcast history was when Dickey Simpkins was introduced by his play-by-play partner as ‘two-time world champion Dickey Simpkins.’ Hey MJ, those are Dickey’s rings, and don’t you forget it…

      Quote  Reply

  9. Rizzo the Rat

    Stupid Padres can’t hold a stupid two-run lead in the stupid tenth inning against the stupid Brewers.

      Quote  Reply

Leave a Comment